Highlands & Islands

Inverness Town House's missing dogs are found

Dog sculpture Image copyright Callum Black
Image caption One of the stone dogs that was thought to have been lost forever

Two stone dogs thought to have been lost for decades after being removed from a town house have been found in unmarked crates.

It was believed the sculptures had disappeared for good, so two new carved stones were commissioned as part of a refurbishment of Inverness Town Hall.

The dogs were found after the crates were moved from a council depot.

The discovery was made the same day a covering was removed from the front of the town house last month.

Inverness Town House's frontage had been covered since 2015 to hide scaffolding, which will remain in place until the final work is completed in the refurbishment of the building's exterior walls.

Image copyright Ewen Weatherspoon
Image caption Masonry sculptors with one of their stone wolves and a cast they made to help create the new beasts

The dogs could be reinstalled at the top of the building. The new wolves will still be on show too at a location at the town house.

The original sculptures were discovered after the crates they were in were moved from a Highland Council depot to a museums store.

There then followed a process using old photographs to confirm that they were the town house sculptures.

Provost of Inverness, Helen Carmichael ,said: "This is a truly remarkable discovery.

Image copyright Jamie Gaukroger/Archives Services
Image caption The dogs in a photograph when they were on top of Inverness Town House
Image caption The front of Inverness Town House was covered up in 2015

"It is quite uncanny that they turned up by coincidence just at this time, with just hours to spare for the unveiling of the town house.

"It is as if the dogs wanted to be found and returned to their rightful place."

She added: "We will need to have their condition checked to see if they are fit to be returned to their original position, which would be perfect.

"If they are too fragile, then they will be placed inside the town house."

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