An eyesore improvised cell block at Inverness Castle has been demolished as a project to turn it into a tourist attraction continues.
The landmark is currently under refurbishment after many years as a court as part of a plan to create a gateway for Highland tourism.
The project, supported by £15million funding from the Scottish Government, forms part of the region deal and includes a vision for new galleries, museum displays, shops, and restaurants.
As the revamp continues, a cell block behind the South Tower – which was used as the courthouse until the new Inverness Justice Centre opened last spring – has now been removed.
The demolition has opened up a window to the past, revealing a doorway and two windows to the rear of the south tower, all of which had been blocked up and hidden for many decades.
It is thought the doorway would have originally been the judges’ entrance to the building.
Manual labour was drafted in as part of the demolition process to carefully remove and preserve the stone blocks used in this part of the building.
The demolition work was carried out as part of the enabling contract, a programme of initial work carried out in advance of the main contract. It includes checks for asbestos, timber preservation and the building structure.
The transformation of Inverness Castle is supported by £15million Scottish Government and £3million UK Government investment through the city region deal.
It will create a gateway for Highland tourism, contributing to reinvigoration of tourism across the area and providing much needed investment for the industry to aid the recovery from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The project will support economic growth throughout the Highland area, the intention being to create a “sustainable, viable and must-see” attraction celebrating the spirit of the Highlands.