Global Geopark Network European Geopark Network
Twitter Twitter
Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Guided Walk – Building Stones of Inverness

October 14, 2021 @ 14:00 - 16:00


A walk through Inverness looking at the building stones of the town led by Andy Moffat.  This is a follow up to the (Zoom) talk on 11th October.

Andy Moffat is a retired graduate petroleum geologist.  Having worked in the oil and gas exploration drilling industry for nearly 42 years on UK and international drilling operations.  Mostly working on onshore and offshore drilling rigs as a wellsite geologist on a variety of hydrocarbon prospects ranging from potential sedimentary, igneous and metamorphic reservoirs.  More recently, office based onshore, first as a senior operations geologist and then subsurface team leader in Baku.

Andy lives in Scotland (Strathpeffer) maintaining a strong geological interest particularly on the geology of the Highlands and Shetland while retaining occasional connections to the oil industry, especially now the industry is diversifying into geothermal energy and subsurface carbon sequestration where the need for geologists and drilling remains.

We will undertake a well-illustrated ‘urban geological excursion’ through the centre of Inverness looking at both the building and decorative stonework of which there is a surprising variety compared to many other urban centres of comparable size.

For example, in almost every street in central Inverness there are rocks that are over 2 billion years old from South Africa that you may well have walked past without a second glance!

We also see the more local rocks such as the Hopeman and Tarradale sandstones widely favoured for building work.  There are rocks quarried even closer to Inverness such as the Abriachan granite used in Inverness Cathedral.  There are granites from Aberdeenshire and near Nairn,  larvikites from Norway, Cornish granites, etc.  – all highly favoured by Victorian architects and builders.

Why look at these rocks?  They are both educational and part of our heritage.  You will see rocks that are both local and from the other side of the planet.  Stonework often dates from Victorian times and is historically important.  The quality of the older stonework can be impressive and a testament to the skill of the stonemasons of the time.

We will start from the Library at Farraline park (bus/coach station) and end the excursion at Inverness Castle.

The presentation will look at the variety of rocks on display plus examine the more notable buildings such as The Yorkshire Building Society and TSB (both in Inglis St.), Barclays Bank (Union St.),  Caledonian Bar (former Bank of Scotland) and Inverness Town House (both in the High St.),   the Highland Solicitors Property Centre (Queensgate), Hootananny and the White House (both in Church St.) and Inverness Castle.

The geology and age of the rocks will be explained and where possible, the history of the buildings.

There are two buildings in central Inverness where, if a ‘comfort break’ is required then the rocks are definitely worth looking in both the gentlemen’s and ladies’ conveniences.  Although this is virtual excursion, we will look at these anyway!

Arrangements and Walk Details

Meet outside the library Farraline Park Inverness IV1 1NH at 14:00hrs.

The likely route will include Strothers Lane – Academy St  – Station -Square-  Inglis St – Eastgate – High St – Church St – Union St – Queensgate  and the remainder of Church St taking approximately 1.5 hrs to complete.

Booking essential.  Please contact pete@legacy.nwhgeopark.com to arrange.


October 14, 2021
14:00 - 16:00
Event Category:


NW Highlands Geopark