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:
Kirkjubøargarður ('Yard of Kirkjubøur', also known as King"s Farm) is one of the oldest still inhabited wooden houses of the world. The farm itself has always been the largest in the Faroe Islands. The old farmhouse dates back to the 11th century. It was the episcopal residence and seminary of the Diocese of the Faroe Islands, from about 1100. Sverre I of Norway (1151–1202), grew up here and went to the priest school. The legend says, that the wood for the block houses came as driftwood from Norway and was accurately bundled and numbered, just for being set up. Note, that there is no forest in the Faroes and wood is a very valuable material. Many such wood legends are thus to be found in Faroese history.
The oldest part is a so-called roykstova (reek parlour, or smoke room). Perhaps it was moved one day, because it does not fit to its foundation. Another ancient room is the loftstovan (loft room). It is supposed that Bishop Erlendur wrote the 'Sheep Letter' here in 1298. This is the earliest document of the Faroes we know today. It is the statute concerning sheep breeding on the Faroes. Today the room is the farm"s library. The stórastovan (large room) is from a much later date, being built in 1772.
Though the farmhouse is a museum, the 17th generation of the Patursson Family, which has occupied it since 1550, is still living here. Shortly after the Reformation in the Faroe Islands in 1538, all the real estate of the Catholic Church was seized by the King of Denmark. This was about half of the land in the Faroes, and since then called King"s Land (kongsjørð). The largest piece of King"s Land was the farm in Kirkjubøur due to the above-mentioned Episcopal residence. This land is today owned by the Faroese government, and the Paturssons are tenants from generation to generation. It is always the oldest son, who becomes King"s Farmer, and in contrast to the privately owned land, the King"s Land is never divided between the sons.
The farm holds sheep, cattle and some horses. It is possible to get a coffee here and buy fresh mutton and beef directly from the farmer. In the winter season there is also hare hunting for the locals. Groups can rent the roykstovan for festivities and will be served original Faroese cuisine.
Other famous buildings directly by the farmhouse are the Magnus Cathedral and the Saint Olav"s Church, which also date back to the mediaeval period. All three together represent the Faroe Island"s most interesting historical site.