The remains of Burleigh Castle are located just outside the village of Milnathort. It now sits beside the A911 road, opposite a 19th-century steading, recently adapted into housing.
The lands of Burleigh were held by the Balfours from 1456, when they were granted by James II to John Balfour of Balgarvie, and a tower house was erected in the late 15th or early 16th century. Sir James Balfour of Pittendreich extended the castle in the late 16th century, adding a curtain wall with a corner tower, and other outbuildings. James VI of Scotland was a frequent visitor in the castle in the time of his son, Sir Michael Balfour.
The remains of the castle comprise the western part of what was once a square courtyard or barmkin. In the north-west corner, the original tower house survives largely intact (though one of the first floor windows has been greatly enlarged) to three storeys and a garret in height. The 1.5 m thick walls rise to corbels which once supported a parapet walk. The roof and internal floors are now gone, although the vaulted basement remains. The turnpike stair in the north-east corner originally led up to a caphouse giving access to the parapet walk.
To the south-west is a 16th-century corner tower, two storeys high above a basement, which retains its roof. The tower is round at the base, and corbelled out to a square upper storey, and is a particularly fine and picturesque example of Scottish baronial architecture of the period. Its masonry is happily very well preserved. Both this tower and the keep have gun loops around the base to deter attackers. The corner tower also has small round pistol-holes at cap-house level, though these may have been included more for their decorative effect than to provide a true defensive capability. Engraved on the north gable is the date 1582, and the initials IB and MB, for Sir James Balfour and his wife Margaret. The two towers are connected by a section of curtain wall pierced by an arched gate. Though now only a 'skin' of masonry, this wall once fronted a two-storey gatehouse. With its string-course, hood-mould over the gateway and moulded surround formerly containing a heraldic panel, this wall is an excellent example of small-scale but refined architectural sophistication of its period in Scotland (probably contemporary with the round corner tower). A defensive moat may have surrounded the barmkin in the past.References:
Heraclea Lyncestis was an ancient Greek city in Macedon, ruled later by the Romans. It was founded by Philip II of Macedon in the middle of the 4th century BC. The city was named in honor of the mythological hero Heracles. The name Lynkestis originates from the name of the ancient kingdom, conquered by Philip, where the city was built.
Heraclea was a strategically important town during the Hellenistic period, as it was at the edge of Macedon"s border with Epirus to the west and Paeonia to the north, until the middle of the 2nd century BC, when the Romans conquered Macedon and destroyed its political power. The main Roman road in the area, Via Egnatia went through Heraclea, and Heraclea was an important stop. The prosperity of the city was maintained mainly due to this road.
The Roman emperor Hadrian built a theatre in the center of the town, on a hill, when many buildings in the Roman province of Macedonia were being restored. It began being used during the reign of Antoninus Pius. Inside the theatre there were three animal cages and in the western part a tunnel. The theatre went out of use during the late 4th century AD, when gladiator fights in the Roman Empire were banned, due to the spread of Christianity, the formulation of the Eastern Roman Empire, and the abandonment of, what was then perceived as, pagan rituals and entertainment.
In the early Byzantine period (4th to 6th centuries AD) Heraclea was an important episcopal centre. A small and a great basilica, the bishop"s residence, and a funerary basilica and the necropolis are some of the remains of this period. Three naves in the Great Basilica are covered with mosaics of very rich floral and figurative iconography; these well preserved mosaics are often regarded as fine examples of the early Christian art period.
The city was sacked by Ostrogoth/Visigoth forces, commanded by Theodoric the Great in 472 AD and again in 479 AD. It was restored in the late 5th and early 6th century. When an earthquake struck in 518 AD, the inhabitants of Heraclea gradually abandoned the city. Subsequently, at the eve of the 7th century, the Dragovites, a Slavic tribe pushed down from the north by the Avars, settled in the area. The last coin issue dates from ca. 585, which suggests that the city was finally captured by the Slavs. As result, in place of the deserted city theatre several huts were built.
The Episcopacy Residence was excavated between 1970 and 1975. The western part was discovered first and the southern side is near the town wall. The luxury rooms are located in the eastern part. The 2nd, 3rd and 4th rooms all have mosaic floors. Between the 3rd and 4th rooms there is a hole that led to the eastern entrance of the residence. The hole was purposefully created between the 4th and 6th century.