Top Historic Sights in Cupar, United Kingdom

Explore the historic highlights of Cupar

Scotstarvit Tower

Scotstarvit Tower is a tower house in Fife, Scotland. The six-storey L-plan tower, still largely intact, was built in the third quarter of the 16th century by the Inglis family. It was bought, in 1611, by Sir John Scot, author of the satirical The Staggering State of the Scots" Statesmen. Scot rebuilt the tower in the 1620s. Scotstarvit later passed to the Wemyss family, and in 1948 it was given to the National ...
Founded: 16th century | Location: Cupar, United Kingdom

Dairsie Castle

Dairsie Castle is a restored tower house located in Dairsie in north-east Fife. The first castle built here was the property of the bishops of St Andrews, and may have been constructed by William de Lamberton, bishop of St Andrews from 1298 to 1328. A Scottish parliament was held at the castle in early 1335. The castle was rebuilt in the 16th century by the Learmonth family. James Douglas, 4th Earl of Morton, then regent ...
Founded: 16th century | Location: Cupar, United Kingdom

Ballinbreich Castle

Ballinbreich Castle is a ruined tower house castle in Fife. The castle was built in the 14th century by Clan Leslie, and subsequently rebuilt several times. There may have been an outer curtain-wall though this no longer survives. Much of the present structure is of 16th-century date. It is a three-storey L-plan castle and overlooks the Firth of Tay. Early maps of the castle by Timothy Pont and John Adair at the National ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Cupar, United Kingdom

Lordscairnie Castle

Cairnie was a property of the Lindsay family, later Earls of Crawford, from 1355. The tower was constructed around 1500 by Alexander Lindsay of Auchtermoonzie (d.1517). The second son of the 4th earl of Crawford, Alexander subsequently became 7th earl, inheriting the earldom from his nephew who was killed at the Battle of Flodden in 1513. According to John Knox, James V of Scotland visited the castle just before his death ...
Founded: c. 1500 | Location: Cupar, United Kingdom

Creich Castle

Creich Castle is a ruined tower house. There is a mention of a castle on the property in the 13th century, but it is uncertain what relationship that has to the existing structures. There is documentary evidence of a tower in 1553, but the existing structure either postdates that or has been heavily remodeled, judging by its architectural style. The first surviving records that mention Craich show that it was held by the ...
Founded: 16th century | Location: Cupar, United Kingdom

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Mosque–Cathedral of Córdoba

The Mosque–Cathedral of Córdoba, also known as the Great Mosque of Córdoba and the Mezquita is regarded as one of the most accomplished monuments of Moorish architecture.

According to a traditional account, a small Visigoth church, the Catholic Basilica of Saint Vincent of Lérins, originally stood on the site. In 784 Abd al-Rahman I ordered construction of the Great Mosque, which was considerably expanded by later Muslim rulers. The mosque underwent numerous subsequent changes: Abd al-Rahman II ordered a new minaret, while in 961 Al-Hakam II enlarged the building and enriched the Mihrab. The last of such reforms was carried out by Almanzor in 987. It was connected to the Caliph"s palace by a raised walkway, mosques within the palaces being the tradition for previous Islamic rulers – as well as Christian Kings who built their palaces adjacent to churches. The Mezquita reached its current dimensions in 987 with the completion of the outer naves and courtyard.

In 1236, Córdoba was conquered by King Ferdinand III of Castile, and the centre of the mosque was converted into a Catholic cathedral. Alfonso X oversaw the construction of the Villaviciosa Chapel and the Royal Chapel within the mosque. The kings who followed added further Christian features, such as King Henry II rebuilding the chapel in the 14th century. The minaret of the mosque was also converted to the bell tower of the cathedral. It was adorned with Santiago de Compostela"s captured cathedral bells. Following a windstorm in 1589, the former minaret was further reinforced by encasing it within a new structure.

The most significant alteration was the building of a Renaissance cathedral nave in the middle of the expansive structure. The insertion was constructed by permission of Charles V, king of Castile and Aragon. Artisans and architects continued to add to the existing structure until the late 18th century.

Architecture

The building"s floor plan is seen to be parallel to some of the earliest mosques built from the very beginning of Islam. It had a rectangular prayer hall with aisles arranged perpendicular to the qibla, the direction towards which Muslims pray. The prayer hall was large and flat, with timber ceilings held up by arches of horseshoe-like appearance.

In planning the mosque, the architects incorporated a number of Roman columns with choice capitals. Some of the columns were already in the Gothic structure; others were sent from various regions of Iberia as presents from the governors of provinces. Ivory, jasper, porphyry, gold, silver, copper, and brass were used in the decorations. Marvellous mosaics and azulejos were designed. Later, the immense temple embodied all the styles of Morisco architecture into one composition.

The building is most notable for its arcaded hypostyle hall, with 856 columns of jasper, onyx, marble, granite and porphyry. These were made from pieces of the Roman temple that had occupied the site previously, as well as other Roman buildings, such as the Mérida amphitheatre. The double arches were an innovation, permitting higher ceilings than would otherwise be possible with relatively low columns. The double arches consist of a lower horseshoe arch and an upper semi-circular arch.