Basmo fortress was constructed in the 1680s and was abandoned after 62 years of service in 1745. The first mention of this Norwegian fortress is in a letter from Field Marshal Wedel Jarlsberg to the King in 1683. Major General Johan Caspar von Cicignon developed the plans.
During the Great Northern War it was manned by up to 1,350 men. On the night of March 9, 1716, the pyres on the mountaintops announced Swedish King Charles XII and 1,000 men had crossed the border. Moving rapidly, he found the border poorly guarded and moved with cavalry to Høland parsonage. Norwegian troops stationed in the district were assembled by the Basmo commander, Colonel Kruse, who attacked the Swedes in a bloody battle. Charles XII barely escaped capture, but the tide was soon turned against the outnumbered Norwegians, and Kruse, badly wounded, was captured. The Swedes went on to occupy Christiania without resistance on March 21, 1716, but were ultimately repulsed. Basmo was also in the path of invading Swedish troops during Charles XII’s second unsuccessful invasion in 1718.References:
Craigmillar is one of Scotland’s most perfectly preserved castles. It began as a simple tower-house residence. Gradually, over time, it developed into a complex of structures and spaces, as subsequent owners attempted to improve its comfort and amenity. As a result, there are many nooks and crannies to explore.
The surrounding gardens and parkland were also important. The present-day Craigmillar Castle Park has fascinating reminders of the castle’s days as a rural retreat on the edge of Scotland’s capital city.
At the core lies the original, late-14th-century tower house, among the first of this form of castle built in Scotland. It stands 17m high to the battlements, has walls almost 3m thick, and holds a warren of rooms, including a fine great hall on the first floor.
‘Queen Mary’s Room’, also on the first floor, is where Mary is said to have slept when staying at Craigmillar. However, it is more likely she occupied a multi-roomed apartment elsewhere in the courtyard, probably in the east range.
Sir Simon Preston was a loyal supporter of Queen Mary, whom she appointed as Provost of Edinburgh. In this capacity, he was her host for her first night as a prisoner, at his townhouse in the High Street, on 15 June 1567. She was taken to Lochleven Castle the following day.
The west range was rebuilt after 1660 as a family residence for the Gilmour family.
The 15th-century courtyard wall is well preserved, complete with gunholes shaped like inverted keyholes. Ancillary buildings lie within it, including a private family chapel.