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26 Jul 2018

We’re delighted that Abertarff House is opening in 2018

Written by Jacky Brookes
Abertarff House on Church Street in the centre of Inverness
Abertarff House (courtesy of Am Baile Highlife Highlands)
Inverness’s oldest secular house – Abertarff House – will open to the public on Monday 30 July, thanks to conservation work carried out by the National Trust for Scotland.

After successfully submitting a planning application to Highland Council to allow public access for a limited period this summer, the house will be open daily from 11am–5pm.

Abertarff House

As Scotland’s largest conservation charity, we protect Scotland’s national treasures for everyone. We recently carried out conservation work on the exterior of the building as part of a wider investment programme in the Highlands, following on from the opening of the Playful Garden at Brodie Castle earlier this year.  

Abertarff House

Abertarff House, a 2½-storey townhouse with a projecting turnpike stairway, was built for the Frasers of Lovat in 1593. It remained in their family for over 200 years. The Commercial Bank of Scotland acquired Abertarff House in the 19th century and gifted it to the National Trust for Scotland in 1963. The house was restored by the Trust in 1966, and over the past 50 years it has been used as the headquarters for An Comunn Gàidhealach, our regional headquarters and the Highland Council’s office base for Scotland’s Homecoming Festival. Our regional offices are now located in Balnain House, just across the River Ness.

Abertarff House watercolour

Clea Warner, Regional General Manager for the Trust, is pleased with the plans for Abertarff House. She says: ‘Given the house is the city’s oldest secular building, this is a great opportunity to give people the chance to peek behind the front door of this important part of our local heritage, for the first time in many years. We want to use the space inside to share stories of the Highlands, especially focusing on the special places in our care.’

We plan to open Abertarff House from July to October. We’ll also be offering volunteering opportunities at the house – the roles will be advertised on our vacancies page in the coming weeks.

Clea adds: ‘This is a wonderful opportunity for those who have an interest in the building and enjoy supporting local heritage. Shifts will be for three hours at a time, so we’re hoping that this will appeal to local residents who want to support the Trust and all that we do for the love of Scotland.’

Anyone interested in volunteering should contact Margaret Ferguson on mferguson@nts.org.uk or telephone 01463 732621.

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