Baldenstein Castle was the family castle for the Knights of Baldenstein, the first of which was mentioned in 1246. The central tower which now forms part of the castle was built around the same time. Very little is recorded about the Baldenstein family and by 1289 the castle was owned by the Freiherr von Löwenstein. Before 1289 he lost the castle in a war with the Freiherr von Rhäzüns, but in the peace treaty of that year received it back after giving Schwarzenstein Castle to Rhäzüns. In 1349 it passed to the Übercastel family. Wilhelm von Übercastel planned to expand and strengthen the castle, but was prevented by the Bishop of Chur, until he granted the Bishop certain rights. Originally the castle consisted of a rectangular bergfried. During the Late Middle Ages an administrative and residential wing was added to the west.
Around 1400 the castle passed to the Freiherr von Stein. Through marriage it then passed to the von Ringg (later Ringg von Baldenstein) family in 1453. In 1562 Luzius Ringg sold the castle to Jakob Ruinelli. The Ruinelli family lived in the castle for several generations. Jakob's grandson, also named Jakob, accompanied Jürg Jenatsch to Rietberg Castle in 1621 to murder Pompeius Planta during the Bündner Wirren. He, in turn, was stabbed to death in 1627 in a brawl between drunken officers. After his death the castle was inherited by the Rosenroll family. During the 16th and 17th centuries the castle was further expanded with a new, larger wing replacing the medieval residential wing. During the same time, the medieval ring wall was replaced with a new crenelated wall.
In 1738 the castle was acquired by the Salis-Sils family, who owned it for almost half a century. In 1782 it was inherited by Francesco Conrado, from Chiavenna in Italy. Francesco became a member of Senate of the Helvetic Republic after the French invasion of Switzerland in 1798. Eventually his descendants changed their name to Conrad and still own the castle. In 1877 the residential wing was mostly destroyed in a fire. It was rebuilt to its present appearance in the following years.
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. The tower was likely inhabited by the principal family or clan of the area but also served as a last resort for the village in case of an attack.
The broch continued to be inhabited while it began to collapse and the original structures were altered. The cistern was filled in and the interior was repartitioned. The ruin visible today reflects this secondary phase of the broch's use.
The site is surrounded by three ditches cut out of the rock with stone ramparts, encircling an area of around 45 metres diameter. The remains of numerous small stone dwellings with small yards and sheds can be found between the inner ditch and the tower. These were built after the tower, but were a part of the settlement's initial conception. A 'main street' connects the outer entrance to the broch. The settlement is the best-preserved of all broch villages.
Pieces of a Roman amphora dating to before 60 AD were found here, lending weight to the record that a 'King of Orkney' submitted to Emperor Claudius at Colchester in 43 AD.
At some point after 100 AD the broch was abandoned and the ditches filled in. It is thought that settlement at the broch continued into the 5th century AD, the period known as Pictish times. By that time the broch was not used anymore and some of its stones were reused to build smaller dwellings on top of the earlier buildings. Until about the 8th century, the site was just a single farmstead.
In the 9th century, a Norse woman was buried at the site in a stone-lined grave with two bronze brooches and a sickle and knife made from iron. Other finds suggest that Norse men were buried here too.