During our stay on Barra we visited the seat of the Clan Mac Neil, Kisimul Castle. The Chief, Roderick Mac Neil and his wife, Sau Ming, hosted the event. The small medieval castle has been restored but unfortunately not to the extent of habitation. It has been in the hands of the Clan Mac Neil since the 11th century. In 2001 it was leased by the chief of Mac Neil to Historic Scotland for 1000 years for an annual sum of one pound and a bottle of whiskey. The castle sits on a rocky islet off the coast of Barra and is almost impregnable, reached only by a small motor boat. The castle gets it’s name from the Gaelic word “ciosamul” meaning “castle island” and inside there is a lovely souvenir shop of local wares. I purchased an Arran wool sweater and some warm ear muffs. Although the day was bright and sunny there was a cold wind blowing. However, I loved the experience.

 

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