Colliston Castle is a 16th-century Z-plan tower house, altered and extended in the 18th and 19th centuries. Colliston was part of the lands of Arbroath Abbey from its foundation in the 12th century. On 25 July 1544, David Beaton, Abbot of Arbroath and Archbishop of St Andrews, granted the lands of Colliston, Knives, Park of Conon, and Guthrie Hill, to John Guthrie and his wife Isobel Ogilvie. Colliston was retained by the Guthries until the late 17th century, when it passed to the Gordon family. By 1820 George Chaplin was in possession of Colliston, and was succeeded by his nephew George Robertson Chaplin of Auchengray, and then George Chaplin Child Chaplin, M.D. He died in 1883, and was succeeded by Mr Peebles of Somerset House, London. It was purchased in 1920 by Major R.F.D. Bruce, whose wife continued to live there after his death. It was sold several times during the 20th century, and most recently in 2011. The house is currently available for holiday rentals. It is a category B listed building.
The original Z-plan part of the castle of Colliston bears the date 1583 (sometimes misread as 1553). It consists of a main block with two round towers projecting at opposite corners, and a stair turret rising in one of the re-entrant angles between the main block and tower. This tower, which also houses the entrance to the castle, is corbelled out at the top to form a gabled watch-chamber. The plan is similar to Claypotts Castle and is amply provided with wide splayed gun-loops and circular shot-holes for defence. The wall heads and the entire upper storey were remodelled several times and are not original. A later doorway is dated 1621, and the north and east wings were added in the 18th and 19th centuries.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.