Hallforest Castle is a keep, one of the oldest in Scotland, as it dates from the 14th century. The castle is believed to have been built by Robert the Bruce as a hunting lodge; he is said to have granted it to Robert II Keith, Marischal of Scotland, the predecessor of the Earls of Kintore. Mary, Queen of Scots visited Hallforrest in 1562.
The castle was frequently attacked during the 17th-century wars. It may have been abandoned shortly afterward, although it remains the property of the Earls of Kintore.
Hallforrest is a plain oblong tower 15 m long and 11 m wide. It once had a parapet, and probably a stone roof resting on an upper arch. It had two vaults, divided by entresol floors. It seems that the entrance led to the first entresol floor. There are small gun-loops to the basement, which may have had a cattle door.
Originally the castle had six floors. There are windows on the south. There is no evidence of masonry stairs; ladders and hatches must have been used. The interior is now ruinous.
To the north there are traces of what may have been an enclosing wall, and to the north west traces of a possible ditch or moat.References:
The Basilica of Santa Maria in Trastevere is one of the oldest churches of Rome. The basic floor plan and wall structure of the church date back to the 340s, and much of the structure to 1140-43. The first sanctuary was built in 221 and 227 by Pope Callixtus I and later completed by Pope Julius I.
The inscription on the episcopal throne states that this is the first church in Rome dedicated to Mary, mother of Jesus, although some claim that privilege belongs to the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore. A Christian house-church was founded here about 220 by Pope Saint Callixtus I (217-222) on the site of the Taberna meritoria, a refuge for retired soldiers. The area was made available for Christian use by Emperor Alexander Severus when he settled a dispute between the Christians and tavern-keepers.
The church underwent two restorations in the fifth and eighth centuries and in 1140-43 it was re-erected on its old foundations under Pope Innocent II.