Melgund Castle, lying around two kilometres due east of Aberlemno, is a 16th-century L-plan castle which has been partially restored as a private residence.
The land was initially held by the Cramonds, but it passed to the Clan Bethune or Beaton. castle has been said to have been built in 1543 on the orders of Cardinal David Beaton, Archbishop of St Andrews and Chancellor of Scotland, as a home for himself and his mistress, Margaret Ogilvie. However, Charles McKean has argued that the work of the 1540s was a re-modelling of an earlier building. Other sources believe that the builder of the castle was probably David Bethune, son of the Cardinal and Ogilvie, and date the building to about 1560. It much later passed by marriage to the Earls of Minto, who were granted the title Viscount Melgund, presently used by the heir to the earldom. It remained in the family until it was sold in 1990.
The castle was extensively investigated by archaeologists between 1990 and 1996 in preparation for its partial conversion into a residence. The work was completed in August 2002, mostly using local materials which included stone from a specially re-opened quarry nearby. The domestic range to the east of the keep has been retained in its ruined state and the primary exterior difference is the new roof to the keep.
It comprised a four-storey keep with an attic and a stair tower that appears to have been raised to act as a watchtower. Its two-storey domestic range on the east had a round tower at the north-east corner.References:
Roman Walls of Lugo are an exceptional architectural, archaeological and constructive legacy of Roman engineering, dating from the 3rd and 4th centuries AD. The Walls are built of internal and external stone facings of slate with some granite, with a core filling of a conglomerate of slate slabs and worked stone pieces from Roman buildings, interlocked with lime mortar.
Their total length of 2117 m in the shape of an oblong rectangle occupies an area of 1.68 ha. Their height varies between 8 and 10 m, with a width of 4.2 m, reaching 7 m in some specific points. The walls still contain 85 external towers, 10 gates (five of which are original and five that were opened in modern times), four staircases and two ramps providing access to the walkway along the top of the walls, one of which is internal and the other external. Each tower contained access stairs leading from the intervallum to the wall walk of town wall, of which a total of 21 have been discovered to date.
The defences of Lugo are the most complete and best preserved example of Roman military architecture in the Western Roman Empire.
Despite the renovation work carried out, the walls conserve their original layout and the construction features associated with their defensive purpose, with walls, battlements, towers, fortifications, both modern and original gates and stairways, and a moat.
Since they were built, the walls have defined the layout and growth of the city, which was declared a Historical-Artistic Ensemble in 1973, forming a part of it and becoming an emblematic structure that can be freely accessed to walk along. The local inhabitants and visitors alike have used them as an area for enjoyment and as a part of urban life for centuries.
The fortifications were added to UNESCO"s World Heritage List in late 2000 and are a popular tourist attraction.