The present Beaufort castle is a Baronial style mansion built in 1880, but incorporates older building work. There has been a castle on the site since the 12th century. Beaufort is the traditional seat of the Lords Lovat. The earliest mention of the site, as Downie or Dounie Castle, occurs in the reign of Alexander I (1106–1124), when a siege took place. The original castle was built by the Byset family. The castle came into the hands of the Frasers in the late 13th century. English forces besieged the castle in 1303.
In the 1650s Dounie was attacked and burned by the forces of Oliver Cromwell during their invasion of Scotland. It was again razed by the Duke of Cumberland in Jacobite Rising of 1745, and the estate was declared forfeit. In 1815 the estate was inherited by Thomas Fraser of Strichen (1802–1875), who was reinstated to the Lordship of Lovat in 1854. In 1839 he commissioned William Burn to extend the house, and also improved the grounds and estate. His son Simon Fraser, 13th Lord Lovat (1828–1887), built the present Beaufort Castle, to designs by James Maitland Wardrop, incorporating part of the 18th-century house.
The Baronial mansion incorporates a private Roman Catholic chapel. The remains of Dounie Castle stand beside the house, and comprise a single wall, 11 metres long and 1.5 metres high.References:
Derbent is the southernmost city in Russia, occupying the narrow gateway between the Caspian Sea and the Caucasus Mountains connecting the Eurasian steppes to the north and the Iranian Plateau to the south. Derbent claims to be the oldest city in Russia with historical documentation dating to the 8th century BCE. Due to its strategic location, over the course of history, the city changed ownership many times, particularly among the Persian, Arab, Mongol, Timurid, Shirvan and Iranian kingdoms.
Derbent has archaeological structures over 5,000 years old. As a result of this geographic peculiarity, the city developed between two walls, stretching from the mountains to the sea. These fortifications were continuously employed for a millennium and a half, longer than any other extant fortress in the world.
A traditionally and historically Iranian city, the first intensive settlement in the Derbent area dates from the 8th century BC. The site was intermittently controlled by the Persian monarchs, starting from the 6th century BC. Until the 4th century AD, it was part of Caucasian Albania which was a satrap of the Achaemenid Persian Empire. In the 5th century Derbent functioned as a border fortress and the seat of Sassanid Persians. Because of its strategic position on the northern branch of the Silk Route, the fortress was contested by the Khazars in the course of the Khazar-Arab Wars. In 654, Derbent was captured by the Arabs.
The Sassanid fortress does not exist any more, as the famous Derbent fortress as it stands today was built from the 12th century onward. Derbent became a strong military outpost and harbour of the Sassanid empire. During the 5th and 6th centuries, Derbent also became an important center for spreading the Christian faith in the Caucasus.
The site continued to be of great strategic importance until the 19th century. Today the fortifications consist of two parallel defence walls and Naryn-Kala Citadel. The walls are 3.6km long, stretching from the sea up to the mountains. They were built from stone and had 73 defence towers. 9 out of the 14 original gates remain.
In Naryn-Kala Citadel most of the old buildings, including a palace and a church, are now in ruins. It also holds baths and one of the oldest mosques in the former USSR.
In 2003, UNESCO included the old part of Derbent with traditional buildings in the World Heritage List.