Windeck 'old' Castle was built around 1200 by the lords of Windeck. The family, probably of Franconian origin and based in the Ortenau, owned wealthy allodial estates and held numerous fiefs from various liege lords, such as the empire, the Prince-Bishopric of Straßburg, the counts of Eberstein as well as the Vogtei of Schwarzach Abbey as an Afterlehen of the burgraves of Nuremberg. The first documentary evidence dates to 1212 when a certain Melchior von Windeck comes to light, and, in 1248, the lords of Windeck are mentioned in a document at Schwarzach Abbey as ministeriales of the Bishop of Straßburg. The castle itself, however, is first mentioned in 1335. It became a jointly-managed castle or Ganerbenburg very early on as a result of divisions of inheritance.
In the early 13th century the New Windeck Castle (Burg Neu-Windeck) was built by a branch of the family near Lauf within sight of Old Windeck. During the course of the 13th and 14th centuries, the lords of Windeck came into conflict many times with neighbouring territorial lords, the city of Straßburg and the counts of Württemberg in alliance with the Martinsvögel during the so-called Schlegler Wars, during which the castle was besieged, but never captured and so remained largely undamaged. In the late 14th century, however, it was stricken by a devastating fire. Stables and domestic buildings were razed, and the valuable archives, the basis of numerous legal titles, were destroyed. Reinhard von Windeck had the affected buildings rebuilt.References:
The Broch of Gurness is an Iron Age broch village. Settlement here began sometime between 500 and 200 BC. At the centre of the settlement is a stone tower or broch, which once probably reached a height of around 10 metres. Its interior is divided into sections by upright slabs. The tower features two skins of drystone walls, with stone-floored galleries in between. These are accessed by steps. Stone ledges suggest that there was once an upper storey with a timber floor. The roof would have been thatched, surrounded by a wall walk linked by stairs to the ground floor. The broch features two hearths and a subterranean stone cistern with steps leading down into it. It is thought to have some religious significance, relating to an Iron Age cult of the underground.
The remains of the central tower are up to 3.6 metres high, and the stone walls are up to 4.1 metres thick.