The Leighton Library is the oldest purpose built library in Scotland and also has a well-documented history as one of the earliest public subscription libraries in Scotland. Its collection of around 4000 volumes and 78 manuscripts from the 16th to 19th century is founded on the personal collection of Robert Leighton (1611–1684), Minister at Newbattle, Principal of Edinburgh University, Bishop of Dunblane and Archbishop of Glasgow. Robert Leighton's personal collection consisted of 1,400 books and the Leighton Library was built to host the books which had been left to Dunblane Cathedral.
The library was completed in 1687, with Dr James Fall the Principal of the University of Glasgow coming to inspect the building erected in his friends memory.
The two-storey building consists of one apartment which is entered from a stone staircase, beneath the apartment are two vaults which have previously been used as a plasterer's store and at a later point as a painter's store. The library is lit by three windows, two to the west of the building and one to the south, it is a wood lined library with sixteen bookcases lining the walls and low presses for books stand in the centre of the room. The fore-stair into the building had originally run from east to west but at the start of the 19th century it was changed to run north to south.References:
German crusaders known as the Livonian Brothers of the Sword began construction of the Cēsis castle (Wenden) near the hill fort in 1209. When the castle was enlarged and fortified, it served as the residence for the Order's Master from 1237 till 1561, with periodic interruptions. Its ruins are some of the most majestic castle ruins in the Baltic states. Once the most important castle of the Livonian Order, it was the official residence for the masters of the order.
In 1577, during the Livonian War, the garrison destroyed the castle to prevent it from falling into the control of Ivan the Terrible, who was decisively defeated in the Battle of Wenden (1578).
In 1598 it was incorporated into the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and Wenden Voivodship was created here. In 1620 Wenden was conquered by Sweden. It was rebuilt afterwards, but was destroyed again in 1703 during the Great Northern War by the Russian army and left in a ruined state. Already from the end of the 16th century, the premises of the Order's castle were adjusted to the requirements of the Cēsis Castle estate. When in 1777 the Cēsis Castle estate was obtained by Count Carl Sievers, he had his new residence house built on the site of the eastern block of the castle, joining its end wall with the fortification tower.
Since 1949, the Cēsis History Museum has been located in this New Castle of the Cēsis Castle estate. The front yard of the New Castle is enclosed by a granary and a stable-coach house, which now houses the Exhibition Hall of the Museum. Beside the granary there is the oldest brewery in Latvia, Cēsu alus darītava, which was built in 1878 during the later Count Sievers' time, but its origins date back to the period of the Livonian Order. Further on, the Cēsis Castle park is situated, which was laid out in 1812. The park has the romantic characteristic of that time, with its winding footpaths, exotic plants, and the waters of the pond reflecting the castle's ruins. Nowadays also one of the towers is open for tourists.