The wolves (and dogs) of Inverness

Town House, Castle Street/High StreetInverness IV1 1JJ, Scotland.

The Town House in Inverness was constructed around 1880 in the beautiful Flemish-Baronial style. However, until recently its grandeur was largely hidden beneath a covering while it underwent extensive refurbishment. As part of this restoration, a pair of wolf statues were carved by stonemasons, Derek Cunningham and Ivan Navarro, to replace two stone dogs that had once graced the house, but were believed to be lost forever.

Strangely, the very same day part of the covering was removed from the front of the Town House, the two original stone dogs were found! They’d been stored away in some wooden crates at a Highland Council depot.

Commenting on the surprise find, Provost of Inverness, Helen Carmichael, said: “This is a truly remarkable discovery… It is as if the dogs wanted to be found and returned to their rightful place.”

The fearless K9 memorial mascot atop a paw of one of the wolves by the entrance to Inverness Town Hall and (Credit: National K9 Memorial Trust)
Troy, the fearless K9 memorial mascot sits atop a paw of one of the wolves by the entrance to Inverness Town House (Credit: National K9 Memorial Trust)

A new information board outside the Town House notes how wolves once roamed the Highlands and how the statues can serve to remind visitors of the area’s beautiful, wild landscapes. (Research is currently taking place into reintroducing wolves into the highlands, too).

But what of the two elusive dogs? Well, they have not been forgotten. After checks to ensure they were structurally sound they have been installed up high above the Town House entrance – from where they can survey their beautiful city.  As the information board states, the dogs came out on top, in the end!

The dogs take pride of place atop Inverness Town House (Credit: National K9 Memorial Trust)
The dogs take pride of place atop Inverness Town House (Credit: National K9 Memorial Trust)

Thank you to Mhairi, current custodian of Troy, the K9 memorial mascot, for her photos and for alerting me to this information.