My personal blog as a 'grown-up' Goth and Romantic living in the Highlands of Scotland. I write about the places I go, the things I see and my thoughts on life as a Goth and the subculture, and things in the broader realm of the Gothic and darkly Romantic. Sometimes I write about music I like and sometimes I review things. This blog often includes architectural photography, graveyards and other images from the darker side of life.

Goth is not just about imitating each other, it is a creative movement and subculture that grew out of post-punk and is based on seeing beauty in the dark places of the world, the expression of that in Goth rock. It looks back to the various ways throughout history in which people have confronted and explored the macabre, the dark and the taboo, and as such I'm going to post about more than the just the standards of the subculture (Siouxsie, Sisters of Mercy, Bauhaus, et al) and look at things by people who might not consider themselves anything to do with the subculture, but have eyes for the dark places. The Gothic should not be limited by what is already within it; inspiration comes from all places, the key is to look with open eyes, listen carefully and think with an open mind..

Friday, 7 September 2012

Inverness Town House

It's Friday and that means it's photo time!    

This is was the quietest moment for photographing...

The focus this week is the Town House in Inverness. I've been avoiding it for a while because it's not exactly in the quietest part of town, being at a busy intersection, off the high street, and always full of people, and I'm not exactly a 'people-person' or the sort of person that is happy standing around on the high street with a camera. That and I was considering clambering up the street furniture to get a reasonable angle.

The front of the Town House.

There's two sets of lights outside the townhouse - big cast iron things. I can't figure out if they quite fit the aesthetic. I know the chunky design is supposed to compliment, and I am sure they are purpose made, but maybe it's the fact that I know that real castles would not have had electric (or gas) lights outside the front door like that. Still, they serve a function, and they are quite fabulous in their own right, and they look far better than the brackets for the flowers. 

Turrets, tourelles, something...
The Town House in Inverness is one of those over-the top Scottish Baronial buildings - Scottish Baronial architecture being a combination of Gothic Revival extravagance and inspiration from the old Scottish defensive tower houses. Basically, it's pretending it's a castle, which is quite surprising considering it is next to the actual castle (now the Sheriff court - I had to do jury duty there) and really does not compete when it comes to size and location. The current castle in Inverness is also 19thC, built in 1836 (a year too old to be Victorian) but not quite as overtly Gothic. Inside the castle there's a good few Gothic Revival details, but on the outside it's actually rather plain with lots of rounded arched windows. Anyway, the Town House was one of those Victorian buildings where it seems no expense was spared and all architectural exuberance was permitted. It is one of those buildings designed to impress, and it does that very well indeed. 

Fancy windows.

Apparently the Highland Council run guided tours of the building twice a week, and apparently it is rather fancy inside (and has swords), but I haven't actually been in it yet. I'm hoping to go on one of the guided tours during half term, as it is a historically interesting building with a lot of items within it relating to the broader history of the city. I'm still trying to work out what the difference between a turret and a tourelle is. I think a tourelle is a specific sort of turret which has to be round, corbeled, with a conical roof and on a corner (as opposed to rectangular or starting on the flat plane of a wall.) Anybody who knows the answer to this is encouraged to elucidate me on the matter. The decorative ironwork on the roofs, and the dormer windows, show a Parisian influence. 

The top of Mercant Cross

A lot of my photographic ventures have been based in Inverness, and I think it is about time I addressed the Cathedral, seeing as I've showcased Eden Court (directly next to it) and a few other ecclesiastical buildings of various denominations already - leaving out the Cathedral, of all buildings, seems odd! I wanted to hear the Merlewood ensemble there yesterday - there was a free concert with a charity retiring collection (I think in aid of the building's restoration, not entirely sure), and I like a bit of chamber music, but unfortunately I had somehow got convinced it was tonight rather than last night. Oops. Anyway, I have been out to photograph the cathedral, but my efforts have been less than satisfactory, so far. The Cathedral shall be next week, if I haven't been to Cromarty church in the meanwhile. 

Sometimes I'm just lucky...

When out photographing things in any city, it is always a good idea to look upwards as even a lot of boring shops are part of more interesting. I originally wanted to take a photo of this Scottish Baronial style façade over a shop, then I saw the seagull and waited... 


  1. That is breath takingly beautiful!

    1. You must never go to Oxford, there's so many beautiful buildings there that you'd never get chance to breathe at all and therefore suffocate :P

      Thankyou :) I guess thanks ought really go to architects Matthews and Lawrie who designed the Town House in 1878.


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