A church featured in Outlander that has links to Saint Columba and the battle of Culloden may soon be on the market.

The 18th century A-listed Old High Church in Inverness has an "intriguing and poignant' history that made its way into the time travelling books by Diana Gabaldon and TV series starring Sam Heughan and Caitriona Balfe.

It was was built between 1770 and 1772 but the lowest part of the west tower dates back to the 14th century which makes it the oldest building structure in the Highland capital.

The Herald:

(picture: Georgrapg.co.uk)

A union was formed between the church and St Stephens in 2003 and the Church of Scotland has said it is not financially viable to maintain both.

The final decision will now rest with the Presbytery of Inverness and a vote is expected to take place later this month.

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The hill on which the Old High Church stands is said to have had religious connections since 565AD when St Columba preached to the Pictish people of Inverness on the hill.  

In 1703 a curfew in Inverness was introduced and the bell in the High Church tower rang at 5pm to signal its start. It was considered dangerous to walk the streets of Inverness without a lantern. 

Prior to the Battle of Culloden, on April 16 1746, some government troops were held prisoner in the church tower.

The Herald:

When the Duke of Cumberland took possession of the town these prisoners were liberated and Jacobite prisoners were held.

They were then taken outside, blindfolded and executed outside the door of the tower. Musket ball marks can still be seen in the walls.

There are two stones which serve as a reminder of this; one which the Jacobite soldier would sit on, and the other a few yards away where the executioner would rest his gun.

The category B-listed St Stephen's was founded as a 'daughter church' of the Old High in 1897.

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Jean Slater, who is the secretary of the Friends of the Old High Church, described the prospective sale as a "blow to the whole of Inverness."

She said: “It is appalling that the church would consider selling such an important building.

“It is a shock that such an important building is to be sold, and I urge anyone of faith or none to join our group.”

A spokeswoman for the Outlander Inverness fan group said the group hoped the building could be "sympathetically preserved" with public access. 

She said:"The church has such an intriguing and poignant history, and not just for Outlander fans. 

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"In addition to being the oldest building structure in Inverness, its association with the Battle of Culloden is just one piece of the jigsaw that makes up the fascinating Jacobite story around Inverness. 

 It’s a key location on our Inverness Outlander Map, and we hope visitors and fans of Outlander will still be able to visit the church in years to come."

A Church of Scotland spokesman said: "A union was formed between Old High Church and St Stephen's Church in 2003 and the congregation had to decide which building they wanted to keep because it was not financially viable to maintain two.

"The final decision on the future of the Old High Church building lies with the Presbytery of Inverness, which has yet to formally address the issue and make an official decision."