Spynie Castle was the fortified seat of the Bishops of Moray for about 500. The founding of the palace dates back to the late 12th Century. It is situated about 500m from the location of the first officially settled Cathedral Church of the Diocese of Moray, in present-day Spynie Churchyard.
The first castle was a wooden structure built in the late 12th century. The excavated evidence suggests that the buildings were surrounded by a rectangular ringwork and ditch which seem to have enclosed an area of roughly the same as the 14th-century curtain wall, i.e., an enclosure of 45 – 65m and is large even by medieval ringworks found elsewhere in Britain. It is likely that the buildings would have consisted of the bishop's house with a hall, a bed chamber and a chapel and also holding a brewhouse and a bakehouse.
The stone buildings first appeared in the 13th century with the establishment of what was thought to have been a chapel and which had coloured glass windows. The remaining wooden buildings were gradually replaced with stone, and this continued through into the 14th century when the first main castle building was erected. This was a near-square structure built within a 7-metre-high curtain wall.
The most significant buildings were established in the later 15th century through into the 16th century when David's Tower was built along with other substantial accommodation areas. The tower is the largest by volume of all medieval Scottish towers measuring 19m by 13.5m and 22m.
Following the restoration of Episcopacy to the Scottish Church in 1662 ownership of the castle passed back to the church, but it was starting to fall into decay.
Major work to stabilise the structure was undertaken during the late 1970s using a large scaffold. Ultimately a curtain wall was reinstated disguising a large concrete plinth that prevents the tower from collapsing.References:
The Basilica of Santa Maria in Trastevere is one of the oldest churches of Rome. The basic floor plan and wall structure of the church date back to the 340s, and much of the structure to 1140-43. The first sanctuary was built in 221 and 227 by Pope Callixtus I and later completed by Pope Julius I.
The inscription on the episcopal throne states that this is the first church in Rome dedicated to Mary, mother of Jesus, although some claim that privilege belongs to the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore. A Christian house-church was founded here about 220 by Pope Saint Callixtus I (217-222) on the site of the Taberna meritoria, a refuge for retired soldiers. The area was made available for Christian use by Emperor Alexander Severus when he settled a dispute between the Christians and tavern-keepers.
The church underwent two restorations in the fifth and eighth centuries and in 1140-43 it was re-erected on its old foundations under Pope Innocent II.