Westhall Castle includes a 16th-century L-plan tower house, which was substantially extended in the 17th and 19th century. The estate was held by the Bishops of Aberdeen in the 13th century, and passed to the Gordons during the Reformation. The original L-plan tower was constructed in the 16th century, with a round tower added in the 17th century. In 1681 it was purchased by the Rev James Horne, vicar of Elgin. Further extensions were added around 1838. By the mid-19th century it was the property of Sir James Elphinstone, who invested in both the Aberdeen Canal Company and the Great North of Scotland Railway.
Westhall was later used as an agricultural school, and as a hotel which closed in the 1990s. A period of neglect followed. In 2011 new owners took over the house.References:
Goryōkaku (五稜郭) (literally, 'five-point fort') is a star fort in the Japanese city of Hakodate on the island of Hokkaido. The fortress was completed in 1866. It was the main fortress of the short-lived Republic of Ezo.
Goryōkaku was designed in 1855 by Takeda Ayasaburō and Jules Brunet. Their plans was based on the work of the French architect Vauban. The fortress was completed in 1866, two years before the collapse of the Tokugawa Shogunate. It is shaped like a five-pointed star. This allowed for greater numbers of gun emplacements on its walls than a traditional Japanese fortress, and reduced the number of blind spots where a cannon could not fire.
The fort was built by the Tokugawa shogunate to protect the Tsugaru Strait against a possible invasion by the Meiji government.
Goryōkaku is famous as the site of the last battle of the Boshin War.