Built in the 16th century (c. 1542), Seafield Tower lies between Kinghorn and Kirkcaldy in Fife. The lands of Seafield and Markinch were granted to Robert Multrare by James II of Scotland in 1443. The lands and the tower remained in the ownership of the Multrare (or Moultrie as the family name became) until 1631 when the lands were sold to James Law, the Archbishop of Glasgow. With Law's death in 1632, the tower passed through various owners. The Methven family were the last known owners of the tower. Its last owner was Methven of Raith who abandoned it in 1733, leaving it to it fall into disrepair and, eventually, ruin.
It was constructed in an 'L' shape configuration using local red sandstone. The Tower would have had a vaulted storage area on the ground floor and a Great Hall on the first floor. The upper levels would have been the lord's accommodation. A plan from 1774 shows ancillary buildings - including a bakery, brewery and stables - which were located in an enclosure to the west of the Tower. These buildings would normally have been protected by a barmkin (curtain wall) but, unfortunately, any evidence of this has been lost due to coastal erosion.
As it stands today, the ruin is merely a shell in derelict condition. Following a storm in January 2013, a significant part of the northwest corner of the tower collapsed.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.