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TITLE
Hallway and Staircase, Eden Court, Inverness
EXTERNAL ID
PC_STAND_CATH_007
PLACENAME
Inverness
OLD COUNTY/PARISH
INVERNESS: Inverness and Bona
SOURCE
Scottish Episcopal Church, Diocese of Moray, Ross and Caithness
ASSET ID
30003
KEYWORDS
furniture
Hallway and Staircase, Eden Court, Inverness

Eden Court was built in the late 1870s as a palace for the Bishop of Moray, Ross and Caithness for the Scottish Episcopal Church, Bishop Robert Eden. Eden had driven the redevelopment of the Diocese, after his appointment as Bishop of Moray and Ross (as it then was) in 1851. He was originally based in Elgin, living in Duffus House, but after a couple of years he moved to Inverness, where he lived in Hedgefield House in Culduthel Road.

In 1866 he had been able to get the foundation stone of his new Cathedral laid on a site beside the River Ness. The building was designed by local architect Alexander Ross. Work advanced rapidly and by 1869 services were able to be held in the building, although consecration (which could not take place until the debt was paid off) did not happen until 1874.

The Episcopal Church felt that they owed Bishop Eden a great debt for what he had achieved, and it was decided that building a palace was the best answer. Bishop Eden purchased the land himself, close to the Cathedral, from Sir Alexander Matheson, and the building was erected in 1877/1878.

The central hall had stairs to bedrooms, etc., on the upper floors, and accommodation for servants was in the section to the rear. The portrait on the wall on the left is of Bishop William Falconer, Bishop of Moray from 1742 until 1778. He also served as Bishop of Edinburgh from 1776 until his death in 1784. The portrait between the doors is that of Bishop Alexander Jolly, Bishop of Moray 1796-1838. Both these paintings are now in Inverness Museum. Below Bishop Jolly is an engraving based on a portrait of Eden himself as a young man. This is currently (2011) on display on the staircase in the Bishop's Palace.

Public Rooms consisted of a dining room, drawing room, library and morning room (photo attached). The morning room is now part of the Maclean Room facing the River Ness.

Eden Court was occupied by four Bishops: Bishop Eden (until his death in 1886); Bishop James Kelly (1886-1904); Bishop Arthur Maclean (1904-1935); and Bishop Piers Holt Wilson (1943-1947).

After World War II, upkeep of the building became too great for the Church to sustain. In the final years, the Bishop could only afford to heat one room, and there are stories of ice forming overnight in washbowls left in the bedrooms. The building was sold in 1947 for use as a residential pre-training centre for nurses, but was sold in 1966 with the opening of a new centre at Raigmore.

The building then lay empty for almost a decade. In 1976, the Eden Court building became the offices and dressing rooms for the theatre complex, but with the recent redevelopment, the Palace has now become available for public use.

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Hallway and Staircase, Eden Court, Inverness

INVERNESS: Inverness and Bona

furniture

Scottish Episcopal Church, Diocese of Moray, Ross and Caithness

St Andrew's Cathedral, Inverness

Eden Court was built in the late 1870s as a palace for the Bishop of Moray, Ross and Caithness for the Scottish Episcopal Church, Bishop Robert Eden. Eden had driven the redevelopment of the Diocese, after his appointment as Bishop of Moray and Ross (as it then was) in 1851. He was originally based in Elgin, living in Duffus House, but after a couple of years he moved to Inverness, where he lived in Hedgefield House in Culduthel Road.<br /> <br /> In 1866 he had been able to get the foundation stone of his new Cathedral laid on a site beside the River Ness. The building was designed by local architect Alexander Ross. Work advanced rapidly and by 1869 services were able to be held in the building, although consecration (which could not take place until the debt was paid off) did not happen until 1874.<br /> <br /> The Episcopal Church felt that they owed Bishop Eden a great debt for what he had achieved, and it was decided that building a palace was the best answer. Bishop Eden purchased the land himself, close to the Cathedral, from Sir Alexander Matheson, and the building was erected in 1877/1878.<br /> <br /> The central hall had stairs to bedrooms, etc., on the upper floors, and accommodation for servants was in the section to the rear. The portrait on the wall on the left is of Bishop William Falconer, Bishop of Moray from 1742 until 1778. He also served as Bishop of Edinburgh from 1776 until his death in 1784. The portrait between the doors is that of Bishop Alexander Jolly, Bishop of Moray 1796-1838. Both these paintings are now in Inverness Museum. Below Bishop Jolly is an engraving based on a portrait of Eden himself as a young man. This is currently (2011) on display on the staircase in the Bishop's Palace.<br /> <br /> Public Rooms consisted of a dining room, drawing room, library and morning room (photo attached). The morning room is now part of the Maclean Room facing the River Ness.<br /> <br /> Eden Court was occupied by four Bishops: Bishop Eden (until his death in 1886); Bishop James Kelly (1886-1904); Bishop Arthur Maclean (1904-1935); and Bishop Piers Holt Wilson (1943-1947).<br /> <br /> After World War II, upkeep of the building became too great for the Church to sustain. In the final years, the Bishop could only afford to heat one room, and there are stories of ice forming overnight in washbowls left in the bedrooms. The building was sold in 1947 for use as a residential pre-training centre for nurses, but was sold in 1966 with the opening of a new centre at Raigmore.<br /> <br /> The building then lay empty for almost a decade. In 1976, the Eden Court building became the offices and dressing rooms for the theatre complex, but with the recent redevelopment, the Palace has now become available for public use.