Rosyth Castle is a fifteenth-century ruined tower house on the perimeter of Rosyth Naval Dockyard.
It originally stood on a small island in the Firth of Forth accessible only at low tide, and dates from around 1450, built as a secure residence by Sir David Stewart, who had been granted the Barony of Rosyth in 1428. The original tower house was enlarged and extended in the 16th and early 17th centuries.
In 1572 it was attacked by men from Blackness Castle on the southern shore of the Firth of Forth and it was occupied in 1651 by Oliver Cromwell's army after the Battle of Inverkeithing.
It remained a Stewart residence until it was sold in the late seventeenth century to David Drummond of Invermay. It ultimately ended up in the possession of the Earl of Hopetoun and from the eighteenth century onward remained unoccupied. During this and later periods large parts of the stonework were re-used in other structures, and the later courtyard buildings were almost razed to the ground, leaving only the tower and north courtyard wall remaining significantly above ground-floor level.
It became Admiralty property in 1903 and as the result of land reclamation lost its waterfront position, becoming marooned within the dockyard. Although plans were made to restore and use the building, they came to nothing and the structure was made safe in its current condition. It passed into private hands when large tracts of the surrounding dockyard were sold.
About half a mile north of the castle is a well-preserved sixteenth-century dovecot, with a crow-stepped gable roof, with carved heads at two corners. Internally it has a barrel vaulted ceiling.References:
Les Invalides is a complex of buildings containing museums and monuments, all relating to the military history of France, as well as a hospital and a retirement home for war veterans, the building"s original purpose. The buildings house the Musée de l"Armée, the military museum of the Army of France, the Musée des Plans-Reliefs, and the Musée d"Histoire Contemporaine, as well as the burial site for some of France"s war heroes, notably Napoleon Bonaparte.
Louis XIV initiated the project in 1670, as a home and hospital for aged and unwell soldiers: the name is a shortened form of hôpital des invalides. The architect of Les Invalides was Libéral Bruant. The enlarged project was completed in 1676, the river front measured 196 metres and the complex had fifteen courtyards. Jules Hardouin Mansart assisted the aged Bruant, and the chapel was finished in 1679 to Bruant"s designs after the elder architect"s death.
Shortly after the veterans" chapel was completed, Louis XIV commissioned Mansart to construct a separate private royal chapel referred to as the Église du Dôme from its most striking feature. Inspired by St. Peter"s Basilica in Rome, the original for all Baroque domes, it is one of the triumphs of French Baroque architecture. The domed chapel is centrally placed to dominate the court of honour. It was finished in 1708.
Because of its location and significance, the Invalides served as the scene for several key events in French history. On 14 July 1789 it was stormed by Parisian rioters who seized the cannons and muskets stored in its cellars to use against the Bastille later the same day. Napoleon was entombed under the dome of the Invalides with great ceremony in 1840. In December 1894 the degradation of Captain Alfred Dreyfus was held before the main building, while his subsequent rehabilitation ceremony took place in a courtyard of the complex in 1906.
The building retained its primary function of a retirement home and hospital for military veterans until the early twentieth century. In 1872 the musée d"artillerie (Artillery Museum) was located within the building to be joined by the Historical Museum of the Armies in 1896. The two institutions were merged to form the present musée de l"armée in 1905. At the same time the veterans in residence were dispersed to smaller centres outside Paris. The reason was that the adoption of a mainly conscript army, after 1872, meant a substantial reduction in the numbers of veterans having the twenty or more years of military service formerly required to enter the Hôpital des Invalides. The building accordingly became too large for its original purpose. The modern complex does however still include the facilities detailed below for about a hundred elderly or incapacitated former soldiers.