The Standing Stones of Yoxie is the remains of a building in a neolithic settlement called Pettigarths Field, about 4,000 years old, which also includes a megalithic tomb and Benie Hoose. The earlier assessment that the monument was a standing stone grouping has since been revised. It is now known to consist of a building partitioned into rooms. The 'standing stones' name is derived from the fact that the walls were built in part from megaliths, many of them still erect. The building was once about 18 by 11 metres in size, but little remains of the northern part. There is a main L-shaped block to the west, and a smaller forecourt to the east. There are no traces of door fixtures. A paved passage lined with stone boulders runs through the house, and traces of the paving continue through a circular room that it divides into two recessed sections.
The site seems to have been occupied for a long period of time. There is a local belief that the stones were used for ceremonies by Druid priests who lived at Benie Hoose – or even that druids still live there. However, the ruins are 4,000 years old. There is no written mention of Druids before around 200 BC, and no reliable sources even from later periods. Despite this the excavator, C.S.T. Calder, interpreted Yoxie as the remains of a temple, and Benie Hoose as a house that may have been used by the priests. He felt there were indications that this structure, and another similar one at Stanydale on Mainland, Shetland, were used for religious purposes. If so, they would have been the first known temples in the British Isles. However, early and middle neolithic society does not appear to have had complex social structures such as a priestly caste. It is now thought that both Yoxie and Benie are prehistoric houses.
Artifacts and material from the early and late Bronze Ages have been found. Some of the finds are Iron Age, while some date to the original Neolithic age settlement and others to a later occupation of the site in Iron Age. Pottery remains have been found in both houses. One large vessel found in Yoxie was very similar to a plain Bipartite Urn, possibly used for storing barley. More than 120 tools made of stone in a crude form have been unearthed in Yoxie.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.