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Kisimul Castle


(Kiessimul Castle, Caisteal Chiosmuil)

Located on the tiny islet of Kisimul (Kiessimul) in Castle Bay on the south coast of Barra in the Western Isles, Kisimul Castle is the seat of the MacNeils of Barra and is believed to date back to 1120, although some accounts date construction to post 1427. What is not in doubt is that by the mid 18th century it was abandoned and burned. It remained in a ruinous state until restoration work was undertaken by Robert Lister MacNeil in the period 1938-70. Occupying the whole of the islet, the castle takes the shape of the shoreline and encompasses a curtain-wall, courtyard, north tower, great hall, St Cieran's Chapel and the Tanist House. It is now in the care of Historic Environment Scotland and is home to Clan MacNeil memorabilia.


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