Nairn’s High Street connects the stately Victorian villas of the West End with narrow lanes and fishermen’s cottages of Fishertown, at the bottom of The Brae. The main building of note in the High Street is the Town House, built in 1818, it was once Nairn’s Court House and is now used as Highland Council offices. A new spire and clock added to the building in 1870 were replaced earlier this year.
St Ninian’s Church of Scotland was erected at 1 High Street in 1881. Originally the High Free Church, it became known as St Ninian’s, after the town’s patron saint, following the closure of the Rosebank Church in Academy Street almost 100 years later.
Other notable sights on the High Street include the unusual feature of gable-ends facing onto the main street. This 18th-century building technique was typical on the High Street by the mid-19th century and a common feature in many Scottish towns at that time. The Dolphin fish & chip shop is a good example. The building that now houses Asher’s Bakery is a former townhouse where the Duke of Cumberland slept before the Battle of Culloden in 1746. Jacobite prisoners were later hanged on the gallows that were at the top of what is now Lodgehill Road.
Today, you’ll find many independent shops on and around the High Street, selling everything from postcards to fishing tackle, art, fashion and gifts. Of course, the High Street also offers some of Nairn’s best cafes and restaurants, including The Classroom, which occupies the former Old Parish School building at the top of the High Street and 112 which doubles as a wine shop.