Tulloch Castle probably dates to the mid-16th century, when Duncan Bane was granted the barony of Tulloch in 1542. Over the years, it has served as a family home for members of the Bain family and Clan Davidson, as a hospital after the evacuation of Dunkirk, and as a hostel for the local education authority. It is currently used as a hotel and conference centre.
Tulloch Castle has been subject to several structural changes throughout its existence. There are two records of fires, in 1838 and 1845, when areas of the castle were destroyed. There are also records of renovations and extensions to the castle in 1513, 1665, 1675, 1747 and in the early 1920s when the roof was replaced, stonework around the windows was repaired and electric lighting was installed.
Tulloch Castle has many interesting features. A tunnel runs from the basement of the castle under the town of Dingwall to the old site of Dingwall Castle. The tunnel has now collapsed, but it is possible to view this passageway through an air vent on the front lawn of the castle’s grounds.
There is a Davidson cemetery in the grounds of the castle for family members and pets. The graveyard is surrounded by a metal fence and has become overgrown, though some of its headstones are still visible.
The castle had two gatehouses and entrance paths. The west gatehouse no longer exists but the other gatehouse still exists as a privately owned house. This gatehouse was built in 1876 and the path which connects it to the castle has become a public road. This road is still used as the main entrance to the castle today.
On a hill to the north of the castle stands 'Caisteal Gorach', a late 18th-century folly which was designed by Robert Adam for Duncan Davidson of Tulloch. The folly comprises a ruined round tower and flanking walls, and is a category A listed building.References:
It was Phyllis Vickers who in 1994 inherited the barony of Tulloch. The current Baron is Dr. David Willien of Tulloch.
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.