Quirky facts about Inverness, Scotland.

Some quirky facts about the capital city of the Scottish Highlands.

Quirky facts about Inverness, Scotland!

By Gordon Pearson on 1st June 2018

Most people know about Loch Ness and the Loch Ness Monster. Most people probably know that Inverness is the UK’s most northerly city, and that it lies next to the infamous Battle of Culloden site. However, there is a lot more to this small but vibrant city and we thought we’d share some fun facts about Inverness that you might not know.

An entire battle was fought in Inverness over cheese

We’re a pretty friendly bunch up here in the Highlands but, whatever you do, don’t mess with our food. Back in 1668, a local man called Finlay Dhu caused a round cheese called a Kebbock to roll from the castle hill into the River Ness below and refused to pay for it. This resulted in an almighty stooshie (row) which engulfed the whole town, resulting in death and destruction!

We we were once home to the world’s biggest drug dealer

Move over Pablo Escobar, we’ve got the real deal here in the Highlands. James Matheson was one of the biggest opium traders of all time and had such influence he persuaded the United Kingdom to declare war on China, in order to allow him to sell his drugs to them! He went to school in Inverness and built a house here, which is still today affectionately known as the, “drug dealers house”. The company he helped to found (Jardine Matheson) still exists today and has revenues of around £40 billion per year, although these days it deals in less controversial goods!

One of the world’s most famous witches lived nearby

We all know that there are 13 witches in a coven. However, what most people probably don’t know was that this notion was conceived by a local Invernessian witch called Isobel Goudie! We were also home to one of the most notorious witch hunters of all-time; the much-feared Christian Cadell.

Macbeth murdered King Duncan at Inverness Castle

In Shakespeare’s play, Inverness Castle was the site where Macbeth murdered King Duncan. It features a few times in the play and it is also where Macbeth’s descent into madness started.

One of our schools shares its name with a paramilitary organisation

In Inverness we have a number of high schools, the oldest of which is called the Inverness Royal Academy, which dates back to 1792. It is referred to locally as the I.R.A and most kids nowadays are blissfully unaware of its more infamous namesake!

Our health officials used to advocate drinking alochol!

During the 1832 cholera outbreak local health officials recommended Invernessians to drink strong spirits to keep the disease at bay. We’ve been following the doctors’ orders ever since and haven’t had an outbreak of cholera since!

You’ve got no soul, you’ve got rubber bumpers
Line from TheSteveKelly’s song about Inverness

We speak the Queens English, right enuff

The chances are that you will understand us wherever you come from as we are said to speak the purest form of English in the UK. This seemingly has something to do with the fact that we were all initially Gaelic speakers who learnt to speak the Queen’s English. We do have some quirks though and tend to use long vowel sounds, soft ‘r’ sounds and almost forget about some consonants. This is best reflected when an Invernessian says “rubber bumper”, which is why we are sometimes referred to as, “rubber bumpers”. Listen to this song for some great use of Invernessian as well as the classic line, “you’ve got no soul you’ve got rubber bumpers” (warning – it’s a little rude!)

Inverness is known as ‘The Capital of the Highlands’ and is a great base for travellers wishing to explore the Scottish Highlands

If you’d like to find out more quirky facts why not join us on our Terribly Good Tales Inverness Walking tour?! Be sure to check out our Isle of Skye Day Tour and our Orkney Day Tour too!

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