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Kisimul Castle, Isle of Barra

Categories: Castles, Tourist Spots
Inspirock Rating:
4.2/5 based on 190+ reviews on the web
Kisimul Castle and also known as Kiessimul Castle, is a small medieval castle located on a small island off Castlebay, Barra, in the Outer Hebrides, Scotland. It gets its name from the Gaelic cìosamul meaning "castle island".HistoryThe earliest documentary record of Kisimul Castle dates from the mid 16th century. Writing in 1549, Dean Munro stated of Barra that "Within the southwest end of this isle, ther enters a salt water loche, verey narrow in the entrey, and round and braide within. Into the middis of the saide loche there is ane ile, upon ane strenthey craige, callit Kiselnin, perteining to M’Kneil of Barray." However, Campbell (1936) points out that Monro has in part confused the nearby Bàgh Beag with Bàgh a' Chaisteil.Kisimul sits on a rocky islet in the bay just off the coast of Barra. As it is completely surrounded by the sea, it can only be reached by boat and is all but impregnable. Kisimul has its own fresh water wells. Legend has it that this has been the stronghold of the MacNeils since the 11th century.Kisimul was abandoned in 1838 when the island was sold, and the castle's condition deteriorated. Some of its stone was used as ballast for fishing vessels, and some even ended up as paving in Glasgow. The remains of the castle, along with most of the island of Barra, were purchased in 1937 by Robert Lister MacNeil, the then chief of Clan MacNeil, who made efforts at restoration.
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  • A 5 min boat journey to this little place. It has a shop inside where u can buy a coffee or souvenir . Great views from the tower. Definitely worth a visit. 
  • There is not much to this place but in time when they complete the restoration it will be special. So support the people that work here and visit this unique little gem. 
  • Small castle but if you like historic buildings, it is well worth a visit. A little boat picks you up and you will need to allow about 45 minutes to appreciate the castle. There is a small shop and ve...  read more »
  • Travel the road around the bay keeping the castle in view and you will see a giant standing stone hidden from view.thank you goooglo.
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