late Gothic Castle Semple Collegiate Church is under the protection of Historic Environment Scotland as a Scheduled monument.
John Sempill, 1st Lord Sempill founded the collegiate church near Castle Semple, in circa 1504. It had a provost, six chaplains or prebendaries, two boys, and a sacristan. The roof was removed in the 1800s, and the ivy has penetrated into the interior. The building is a simple oblong, terminating toward the east in a three-sided apse, and having a square tower projecting from the centre of the west wall. The forms of the double windows indicate that they are very late survivals of Gothic architecture. The other windows in the side walls are altered, but they do not present any features like those of the apse.
Over the door to the chancel are two coats of arms with the letters R. L. S. and A. M. S., one shield bearing the Sempill arms and the other those of Montgomerie. The square tower at the west end is extremely simple. The tower and most of the side walls are of about the date of the original foundation, while the east apse has been added in the 16th century, to receive the monument of John, Lord Sempill, who died at the Battle of Flodden in 1513. A few remains of the original squareheaded windows in the side walls are still traceable. The interior was divided by two solid walls into three compartments, so as to form separate private burial places. In the eastern compartment, there is a large monument to Lord Sempill. A monumental slab in the central compartment is erected in memory of Gabriel Sempel, who died in 1587.References:
The Castle of Gruyères is one of the most famous in Switzerland. It was built between 1270 and 1282, following the typical square plan of the fortifications in Savoy. It was the property of the Counts of Gruyères until the bankruptcy of the Count Michel in 1554. His creditors the cantons of Fribourg and Bern shared his earldom. From 1555 to 1798 the castle became residence to the bailiffs and then to the prefects sent by Fribourg.
In 1849 the castle was sold to the Bovy and Balland families, who used the castle as their summer residency and restored it. The castle was then bought back by the canton of Fribourg in 1938, made into a museum and opened to the public. Since 1993, a foundation ensures the conservation as well as the highlighting of the building and the art collection.
The castle is the home of three capes of the Order of the Golden Fleece. They were part of the war booty captured by the Swiss Confederates (which included troops from Gruyères) at the Battle of Morat against Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy in 1476. As Charles the Bold was celebrating the anniversary of his father's death, one of the capes is a black velvet sacerdotal vestment with Philip the Good's emblem sewn into it.
A collection of landscapes by 19th century artists Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, Barthélemy Menn and others are on display in the castle.