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:
Derbent is the southernmost city in Russia, occupying the narrow gateway between the Caspian Sea and the Caucasus Mountains connecting the Eurasian steppes to the north and the Iranian Plateau to the south. Derbent claims to be the oldest city in Russia with historical documentation dating to the 8th century BCE. Due to its strategic location, over the course of history, the city changed ownership many times, particularly among the Persian, Arab, Mongol, Timurid, Shirvan and Iranian kingdoms.
Derbent has archaeological structures over 5,000 years old. As a result of this geographic peculiarity, the city developed between two walls, stretching from the mountains to the sea. These fortifications were continuously employed for a millennium and a half, longer than any other extant fortress in the world.
A traditionally and historically Iranian city, the first intensive settlement in the Derbent area dates from the 8th century BC. The site was intermittently controlled by the Persian monarchs, starting from the 6th century BC. Until the 4th century AD, it was part of Caucasian Albania which was a satrap of the Achaemenid Persian Empire. In the 5th century Derbent functioned as a border fortress and the seat of Sassanid Persians. Because of its strategic position on the northern branch of the Silk Route, the fortress was contested by the Khazars in the course of the Khazar-Arab Wars. In 654, Derbent was captured by the Arabs.
The Sassanid fortress does not exist any more, as the famous Derbent fortress as it stands today was built from the 12th century onward. Derbent became a strong military outpost and harbour of the Sassanid empire. During the 5th and 6th centuries, Derbent also became an important center for spreading the Christian faith in the Caucasus.
The site continued to be of great strategic importance until the 19th century. Today the fortifications consist of two parallel defence walls and Naryn-Kala Citadel. The walls are 3.6km long, stretching from the sea up to the mountains. They were built from stone and had 73 defence towers. 9 out of the 14 original gates remain.
In Naryn-Kala Citadel most of the old buildings, including a palace and a church, are now in ruins. It also holds baths and one of the oldest mosques in the former USSR.
In 2003, UNESCO included the old part of Derbent with traditional buildings in the World Heritage List.