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The Highlands

Abertarff House

The oldest house in Inverness and important example of 16th-century domestic architecture
Abertarff House in the sunshine
Overview
  • Built in 1593, the oldest house in Inverness has witnessed the Covenanting times, Jacobite risings and two world wars – if only the walls could talk!

  • Discover more about old Inverness in our free exhibition.

  • Look out for the original oak timber beams and a beautiful 17th-century marriage stone over the main fireplace.

  • Staff and volunteers are on hand to help you find out more about the Highland places in the Trust’s care.

Today's Opening Hours

House
10.00–16.00
See full opening times

Entry prices

Adult
Free
Family
Free
One adult family
Free
Concession
Free
See all entry prices

Membership

At all Trust places, admission is free for members.

Join from £5.20 / month

About this place

Built in 1593, Abertarff is the oldest residential house in Inverness. Tucked away on Church Street (formerly known as the Kirkgate), it’s a 2½ storey town house with a projecting turnpike staircase. It was owned briefly by the Fraser of Lovat family, whose clansmen fought on the Jacobite side at the Battle of Culloden.

Eventually the Commercial Bank of Scotland acquired Abertarff House in the 19th century, but after being split up for housing the site fell into disrepair. It was gifted to the National Trust for Scotland in 1963, and the building was restored by the Trust in 1966. Over the past 50 years Abertarff House has been used for many things including the headquarters for An Comunn Gàidhealach (The Gaelic Association), a shop and the Trust’s regional headquarters.

The house is a classic example of 16th- and early 17th-century Scottish architecture with crow-stepped gables. Currently, two downstairs rooms are open and incorporate a history of Inverness in the 17th century. It is hoped that an additional exhibition space will be opened upstairs during 2024.

Staff are available to tell the story of the house and what life was like in the 1600s, as well as being able to help visitors plan their visits to our other places in the Highlands, including Culloden Battlefield, Hugh Miller’s Cottage, Brodie Castle and many others.