The ruins of Ardross Castle, dating back to at least the 15th century, occupy a fine defensive coastal position standing high on sandstone cliffs overlooking a sandy beach below.
In 1068 a Northumbrian knight named Merleswain came to Scotland, and was granted lands in Fife. The first mention of Ardross seems to occur in the mid-12th century. It is believed that a castle was first built on this spot by Sir William Dishington, Sheriff of Fife, who had arranged the building of St Monans Church for David II in the mid-1300s. Ardross Castle remained the seat of the Dishington family until it was sold to Sir William Scott of Elie in 1607. It seems likely that during this time the Dishingtons would have improved on and extended the original castle and, though it is hard to say for sure given the state of the ruins, it seems likely that much of what is left today dates back to the 1400s or 1500s.
In the late 1600s the castle was sold again, this time to Sir William Anstruther. It is unclear how it reached its current condition, but it looks like the castle was found to be less valuable than the stone it was made of, with the result that it was used as a quarry and recycled into nearby buildings in what is now the hamlet of Ardross.References:
The Castle of Gruyères is one of the most famous in Switzerland. It was built between 1270 and 1282, following the typical square plan of the fortifications in Savoy. It was the property of the Counts of Gruyères until the bankruptcy of the Count Michel in 1554. His creditors the cantons of Fribourg and Bern shared his earldom. From 1555 to 1798 the castle became residence to the bailiffs and then to the prefects sent by Fribourg.
In 1849 the castle was sold to the Bovy and Balland families, who used the castle as their summer residency and restored it. The castle was then bought back by the canton of Fribourg in 1938, made into a museum and opened to the public. Since 1993, a foundation ensures the conservation as well as the highlighting of the building and the art collection.
The castle is the home of three capes of the Order of the Golden Fleece. They were part of the war booty captured by the Swiss Confederates (which included troops from Gruyères) at the Battle of Morat against Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy in 1476. As Charles the Bold was celebrating the anniversary of his father's death, one of the capes is a black velvet sacerdotal vestment with Philip the Good's emblem sewn into it.
A collection of landscapes by 19th century artists Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, Barthélemy Menn and others are on display in the castle.