Bishop Robert Eden decided that the Cathedral for the united Diocese of Moray, Ross and Caithness should be in Inverness. The foundation stone was laid by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Charles Longley, in 1866 and construction was complete by 1869, although a lack of funds precluded the building of the two giant spires of the original design. The architect was Alexander Ross, who was based in the city. The cathedral is built of red Tarradale stone, with the nave columns of Peterhead granite.
The cathedral congregation began as a mission in 1853, on the opposite side (east) of the River Ness.