CROMWELL ROAD, CLOCK TOWER (Ref:35193)
This building is in the Highland Council and the
It is a category B building and was listed on 21/05/1971.
Group Items: N/A,
Group Cat: N/A,
Map Ref: NS 66445 46395.
Later 18th century, possibly 1767 2-stage, near square-plan clock tower. Roughly coursed red sandstone blocks; slaister pointing; raised ashlar margins; moulded cornice; elongated ogee roof. 20th century timber boarded door to SE; raised ashlar door surround. 'R' carved into stone to right of door. Graffito 'JMCA Munro August 26 1861' to SW corner. Ashlar string course between stages. Tapered elongated upper stage, inset above lower stage. Round, metal clock face to SE below eaves; oculus to SW and NE. West Highland slate to roof, laid in diminishing courses; timber louvres to each face. Tall surmounting steel and wrought-iron weather vane. Interior: cobbled floor below earthen debris, exposed stone walls, timber ladder access to upper stages. Bronze bell dated 1767 and original fittings (originally hand tolled). Mid 19th century turret clock with pendulum and weights (which later operated the bell).
Formerly listed as Cromwell Road, Clock Tower, Cromwell's Fort, The Citadel. Located within the site of the 1652 Cromwellian fort, the clock tower was previously thought to have been associated with the fort. The pentagonal fort (the remains of which are designated a scheduled ancient monument) contained a parade
ground, stables, lodgings and a church and was designed to hold over 2,000 cavalry and infantry. Demolition of the fort was ordered in 1662. A hemp manufactory began on this site in 1765 and continued in use until the mid 19th century. Research undertaken by SUAT suggests that the clock tower was probably built as part of the hemp works. A tower is depicted on Home's 1774 map of Inverness and the bell (dated 1767) may provide the date of this building. The clock tower now stands beside an oil storage depot in an area significant for its military and political history and serves as a notable landmark feature. It is thought that some of the stone used to build the fort may have been robbed from the Dominican Friary in Friars' Street, where there remains a single octagonal pillar of red sandstone, the stone in turn may have been used to build this clock tower. List description updated 2004.
J Home, A Plan Of The River Ness With The Banks & Lands Adjacent, 1774; 1st Edition Ordnance Survey Map, 1880; J Gifford, Highlands & Islands, 1992, pp32, 192; SUAT Ltd, Archaeological Evaluation Report On The Clock Tower 2002; NMRS Archive.
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