Gaelic: Inbhir Aora
|Council:||Argyll and Bute|
The town owes its prosperity to the Dukes of Argyll. In 1744 the third Duke of Argyll decided to demolish the existing castle and start from scratch with a new building. The castle took 40 years to build and the work was largely supervised by the Adam family. Inveraray Castle was not a castle in the traditional sense, but a classic Georgian mansion house on a grand scale which over the years has played host to numerous luminaries; Queen Victoria visited it in 1847. Princess Louise, married the heir to the Campbell chieftainship, the Marquis of Lorne, in 1875, the position of the Argyll family in the social pecking order of the time was greatly enhanced.
Before the castle was rebuilt, Inverary was no more than a little village. As early as 1747 William Adam had drawn up plans for the creation of a new Inveraray but by 1770 little had been done. The fifth Duke set about rebuilding the town in its present form. Much of the work being done by John Adam, including the Argyll Hotel on Front Street and the Town House. Most of the new Inveraray, however, was the creation of Robert Mylne, a celebrated architect of the period. The end product was a beautiful town which included houses for estate workers, a woollen mill, and a pier to exploit herring fishing, which was to mushroom in later years to play a major role in the town's economy.
Inverary began to attract fashionable tourists in large numbers during Queen Victoria's reign. It remains one of the best examples of an 18th-century new town in Scotland, and the vast majority of the properties in the centre of Inveraray are considered worthy of protection because of the town's architectural significance. The celebrated essayist Doctor Johnson, himself no fan of Scotland, was moved to comment on the new Inveraray: 'What I admire here is the total defiance of expense".
The town distinctive white buildings on the loch shore make it photogenic and it is a popular tourist destination, with a number of attractions in addition to the castle. The Georgian Inveraray Gaol in the burgh is now a museum. Other attractions include the Argyll Folk Museum at Auchindrain. The Celtic Inveraray Cross can also been seen in the town. The Inverarary Maritime Heritage Museum is based on the iron sailing ship Arctic Penguin, moored at the pier, along with the Clyde puffers VIC 72, Eilean Eisdeal, renamed Vital Spark, and VIC27 Auld Reekie, renamed Maggie. The Bell Tower dominates the town, and contains the second-heaviest ring of ten bells in the world. The bell tower is open to the public, and the bells are rung regularly.