Balintore Castle occupies an elevated site in moorland above Balintore village. A tower house named Balintor existed on the site in the late 16th century.
It was designed in 1859 by the architect William Burn. A typical example of the Scottish Baronial style, it features an abundance of turreted towers and gables, and a gone oriel window. The main tower is topped by a balustraded viewing platform similar to that of Buchanan Castle.
The centrepiece of the interior is the great hall, and there is also a gallery, bedrooms, dinner service room, women servant’s sitting room, brushing room, beer cellar, lumber room, butler’s pantry, dining room, and a library.
Balintore Castle was commissioned as a sporting lodge by David Lyon, MP, who had inherited a fortune made by his family through investments in the East India Company. Latterly the castle was used only during the shooting season.
In the 1960s it was decided not to repair the extensive dry rot, and it was abandoned. The castle then stood empty until 2007, during which time its condition deteriorated to point of endangering the structure. Balintore Castle has been listed in the Buildings at Risk Register for Scotland since it started in 1990. Angus Council used its compulsory purchase powers to buy it from its absentee Far Eastern owners, and it is now in the hands of a Scotsman who is restoring it and residing there.References:
Derbent is the southernmost city in Russia, occupying the narrow gateway between the Caspian Sea and the Caucasus Mountains connecting the Eurasian steppes to the north and the Iranian Plateau to the south. Derbent claims to be the oldest city in Russia with historical documentation dating to the 8th century BCE. Due to its strategic location, over the course of history, the city changed ownership many times, particularly among the Persian, Arab, Mongol, Timurid, Shirvan and Iranian kingdoms.
Derbent has archaeological structures over 5,000 years old. As a result of this geographic peculiarity, the city developed between two walls, stretching from the mountains to the sea. These fortifications were continuously employed for a millennium and a half, longer than any other extant fortress in the world.
A traditionally and historically Iranian city, the first intensive settlement in the Derbent area dates from the 8th century BC. The site was intermittently controlled by the Persian monarchs, starting from the 6th century BC. Until the 4th century AD, it was part of Caucasian Albania which was a satrap of the Achaemenid Persian Empire. In the 5th century Derbent functioned as a border fortress and the seat of Sassanid Persians. Because of its strategic position on the northern branch of the Silk Route, the fortress was contested by the Khazars in the course of the Khazar-Arab Wars. In 654, Derbent was captured by the Arabs.
The Sassanid fortress does not exist any more, as the famous Derbent fortress as it stands today was built from the 12th century onward. Derbent became a strong military outpost and harbour of the Sassanid empire. During the 5th and 6th centuries, Derbent also became an important center for spreading the Christian faith in the Caucasus.
The site continued to be of great strategic importance until the 19th century. Today the fortifications consist of two parallel defence walls and Naryn-Kala Citadel. The walls are 3.6km long, stretching from the sea up to the mountains. They were built from stone and had 73 defence towers. 9 out of the 14 original gates remain.
In Naryn-Kala Citadel most of the old buildings, including a palace and a church, are now in ruins. It also holds baths and one of the oldest mosques in the former USSR.
In 2003, UNESCO included the old part of Derbent with traditional buildings in the World Heritage List.