Around 1540, James Stewart of Doune was made Commendator of Inchcolm Abbey, which is located on an island in the Firth of Forth. Donibristle was then a property of the abbey, and James used it as a residence. In 1580, his son James was raised to the peerage as Lord Doune. Lord Doune's son James Stewart married, in 1581, Elizabeth Stuart, 2nd Countess of Moray, and assumed, jure uxoris (in right of his wife), the title of the Earl of Moray. Moray quarrelled with George Gordon, 1st Marquess of Huntly, and on 7 February 1592 Huntly attacked and burned Donibristle. Moray attempted to flee but was caught and killed.
The old house was refurbished by James Stuart, 4th Earl of Moray between 1632 and 1653. His wife, Margaret Home, had a cabinet room which held a variety of treasures and curiosities, including a miniature bowling game with ivory pins, a painting of a parrot, a loadstone, and telescope bought in London in 1634. Many of the furnishing were bought by her mother Mary, Countess of Home. An inventory of their library includes the L'Astrée and a book by the calligrapher Esther Inglis. One of sons of the Countess of Moray stole a gold piece from the cabinet. Near the house there was a fountain with a bronze figure of winged Mercury posed on a turtle, possibly the work of Hubert Le Sueur. The water jet issued from the mouth of the turtle, as Thomas Kirk described in 1677.
A new house was constructed around 1700, and around 1720 L-plan wings of three storeys were added, to the designs of Alexander McGill. McGill also designed the mortuary chapel of the Earls of Moray on the estate, which is dated 1731 and is also category A listed. In the late 18th century landscape gardener Thomas White laid out the parkland. James Gillespie Graham prepared plans for Jacobean-style remodelling in the earlier 19th century. The main block of the house burned down in 1858. The surviving wings are linked by a subterranean passage and a decorative wrought-iron screen, said to be the finest early 18th century wrought-iron screen still in existence in Scotland.
During World War I the estate was used by the Royal Naval Air Service as an airfield, which was expanded during World War II as RNAS Donibristle (HMS Merlin). From 1962 the airfield and the rest of the estate was developed as Dalgety Bay, a privately funded new town. Begun by Copthall Holdings, the site was taken over by the Scottish Homes Investment Company and construction continued into the 1970s. In the late 20th century the wings of Donibristle House and the nearby stable block were restored as housing, and a new apartment building was erected in place of the main block of the house.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.