In 1431 Sir James Schaw of Greenock, Comptroller to the King, acquired the lands of Sauchie when he married the heiress Mary de Annand. Sauchie Tower was built by Sir James soon after. His son was appointed Governor of Stirling Castle in 1460. The Schaws held the land into the 17th century, with several members of the family serving in the Scottish royal household.
Around 1631, Alexander Schaw, who was knighted by King Charles I in 1633, built a house in the courtyard to the north-west of the tower. Another house on the estate, Schawpark, was built around 1700, and in 1752 Sauchie passed by marriage to the Cathcart family. Around this time the tower is thought to have been gutted by fire, and was not subsequently lived in. The roof and turrets were destroyed in the second half of the nineteenth century. Old Sauchie House, in the courtyard, was demolished after the estate was bought for coal extraction in the 1930s. The tower was derelict but in good condition in 1950. Schawpark was sold in 1826, to the Earl of Mansfield, who was then Lord Lieutenant of Clackmannanshire, but was demolished in 1961.
Today the tower is restored. It measures 11.5 by 10.3 metres and rises four storeys to a corbelled parapet walk, with bartizans (open round towers) at the corners. At the north-west corner is a hexagonal cap house (a small room covering the top of the stair), with a pyramidal roof. The vaulted basement contains a well, and the main hall is at first-floor level.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.