Forres was confirmed as a Royal Burgh around the year 1496; it has been recorded that Forres had its own Royal Castle originally built in 900AD, possibly from the time of Kenneth McAlpine the first king of united Scotland.
After William I became King of Scotland in 1165, the castle at Forres served as a hunting lodge for royalty. Today the mound, which is known as castlehill is still there, but unfortunately over the years the remains of the castle have all been removed.
The local area is steeped in history from the Pictish era. At the east end of the town stands a Picto-Scottish 21 foot tall obelisk called 'Sueno's Stone' and probably dates to around 980 AD and is the largest sculptured stone in Europe. Many theories abound as to what the carved scene depicts but the most probable is that it shows a defeat of the men of Moray by Gaelicised Picts from the south.
The runes carved on the stone still mystify scholars today, one side is carved with a large ring-headed cross, the other side is divided into four panels depicting what appears to be a large but unknown battle scene which could possibly have been fought closeby.
The ancient royal burgh of Forres has links with MacBeth. Before he became king of Scotland he fought Duncan near Pitgaveny where Duncan was killed on 10 August 1040. MacBeth was immediately crowned at Scone to legitimise his position and he ruled over Moray from his castle in Forres. Originally built at the west end of Forres high street the castle no longer remains but the area still bears the name 'Castlehill'.
Visit the Castle page to find out more about some of the most interesting castles around the area.
The Falconer Museum; was built from a bequest by Alexander and Hugh Falconer to house a large collection of fossils. It was named after Hugh Falconer; in the 19th century he was a distinguished geologist, botanist, palaeontologist and paleoanthropologist. Hugh Falconer MD, spent much of his life studying the geology, plant and animal life of India, Assam and Burma.
The Friends of the Falconer Museum are very much involved in project undertaking an oral history project recording memories from local people about different aspects of life in and around Forres.
Click here to view The Falconer Museum - website.