21 Jul 2009 - Inverary, Scotland
Easily done in a day from our base beside Loch Lomond, the main attractions here are the Georgian courthouse and jail, castle and the small shops which tend to focus around whisky which is no bad thing. The visitor to the jail can work around the cells and learn about the terrible living conditions endured by those captive here. Having said that, it wasn't unheard of for some people to be repeat offenders as the prison offered regular meals which the very poor didn't get outside.
Inverary - Inverary Castle
Inverary Castle has been the seat of the chiefs of Clan Campbell, the dukes of Argyll, since the 15th century. The current 18th century castle includes whimsical turrets and fake battlements. The foundations of the original castle sit nearby. Inside is the armoury hall, whose walls are patterned with with over 1000 pole arms, dirks and Lochaber axes, many of which were stuck into Catholics during the Jacobite rebellion.
Inverary - Inverary 'High St'
A typical street in Inverary. This is the main throughfare and leads to the stunning Loch Fyne.
Inverary - Loch Fyne
Loch Fyne is notable for its oyster fishery, and as a consequence the loch has given its name to the locally owned Loch Fyne Oysters, and the associated Loch Fyne Restaurants. It originally started off as a humble oyster bar. A painting dated 1824 shows the same bridge as in this picture.
Inverary - Inverary Jail
The jail is an award winning, interactive tourist attraction. You can sit in on a 'trial', try out a cell and discover the harsh punishments meted out to those unfortunates in the 16th and 17th centuries, or the many that were transported to Australia in 19th century for minor crimes such as stealing a loaf of bread.
Inverary - Inverary court house I
The court house has a number has a number of displays showing the punishments (and thumbscrews!) and makes fascinating reading. For example, Dunan ban M'Ilbreid under cover of night took away two horses and two cheeses. The justice ordained that poor Duncan be taken to the gallows and hanged till death (1664).
Inverary - Inverary court house II
Another theif stole shoes and money and other things. His punishment was to be burnt on the cheek with the letter 'T' and scourged from one end of the town to the other (1672). One Duncan M'Kawis committed the vile and abominable act of bestiality with a white mare. His punishment was to be stranged to death and burnt...as well as the mare (1675). The filthy bugger.