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Cille Bharra, Barra, Hebrides, Scotland

Monday, September 07, 2009

This evening, I am posting information on a fascinating historic site on the Isle of Barra.

This religious complex at Cill Barra ('Kilbar') is considered as one of the most important of its type in the Western Isles. The church may date from the 12th century, possibly based on an older, refurbished structure. The separate St. Mary's chapel has been re-roofed to house the late medieval carved tombstones (see image below) which formerly lay in the graveyard.

The central stone in the image below is, in fact, a replica. The original can be found in the Scottish Museum of Antiquities in Edinburgh. This is known as the Kilbar Stone and is Christian-Nordic Runic in origin. On the front there is a cross decorated with a four plaited pattern and bordered by a scroll. On the reverse is an inscription "This cross has been raised in memory of Thorgeth, daughter of Steinar."

The burial ground associated with the church holds the remains of many local inhabitants including the writer and novelist, Compton MacKenzie.
A pace for reflection and contemplation. It seems likely that the coastline has been pushed back since the site was originally established-due the growth of extensive sand dunes which now separate Cille Bharra from the sea.


posted by Catswhiskers @ 11:43 AM  0 comments


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Kisimul Castle, Barra, Hebrides, Scotland.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

This morning I am posting information on Kisimul Castle which is located in the centre of Castlebay, Barra, Hebrides.

Key points:

  • Dates from 15th century.
  • Consists of a square tower with a curtain wall within which there is a hall, chapel and other buildings.
  • Inside are two artesian wells and a fish trap to provide resources in event of siege.
  • Abandoned from 1795 then sold to Colonel Gordon in 1838.
  • Purchased in he 1930s by Robert Lister MacNeil, an American who became the 45th Clan Chief. This gentleman restored the castle. His son is the current Clan Chief.
  • Access is via a short trip in an open boat.
This weaponry was used at the Battle of Culloden in 1746.

MacNeil heraldry.
View of castle from Castlebay ( Bagh A Chaisteil)

Video clip taken from the castle.



posted by Catswhiskers @ 1:53 AM  0 comments


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Barra-the most Scottish part of Scotland

Saturday, January 06, 2007

The West Coast island of Barra is known for two features:

  • The unique aircraft landing strip on its beaches.
  • Cockles, which are collected by hand and exported to many parts of the world.
Visit Barra with catswhiskerstours


posted by Catswhiskers @ 6:56 AM  0 comments


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