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All about Nairn

Once called Invernairn - Gaelic for the mouth of the River of the Alders – the community saw the establishment of a Christian cell as early as the 4th century. So there was a settlement long before the town was granted the burgh’s first charter by Alexander 1 in the 12th century.

William the Lion, Alexander’s grandson, built a castle on the defensive site between the river and the High Street. This is approximately the situation of the present mansion and Constabulary Gardens . The name of the gardens refers to the office of Constable of Nairn, a former hereditary duty of the Cawdor family.

The vision of one man was responsible for turning the impoverished little market town and fishing community of Nairn into a thriving health resort in the 19th century. That vision has stood the test of time. The tourism industry remains one of the key components of the Nairn economy.

Dr John Grigor arrived in the town as a young ship’s surgeon in the early 1800s. He was responsible for many institutions that still exist today. Locals marked his lifetime of work in Nairn’s development by commissioning an imposing bronze statue in his memory. The statue stands in a leafy corner of Nairn at Viewfield, in front of the Georgian mansion house which is home to the Nairn Museum collection.

John Grigor was born in 1814, the son of an Elgin solicitor. At the age of 15, it was decided he would follow the family tradition – and his brother Robert – into a legal career. But a year into his legal studies Grigor changed direction and moved to Edinburgh University in 1831 to study medicine.