A Castle in the Bay

Castlebay, Barra (c) Duncan Hutt

Castlebay, Barra (c) Duncan Hutt

Barra from the Ferry (c) Duncan Hutt

Barra from the Ferry (c) Duncan Hutt

The weather on the journey had been less than promising but as we approached Barra on the ferry the island was silhouetted in the evening sun.  The boat took us in to Castlebay to the jetty just next to the old castle, a stronghold which when built, in the 15th century, must have seemed impressively dominant but was now dwarfed by the modest ferry.

The Ferry dwarfs Kisimul Castle (c) Duncan Hutt

The Ferry dwarfs Kisimul Castle (c) Duncan Hutt

The ferry was still there next morning when the sun rose across the bay, giving a warm glow to the boat and castle alike.  A trip out to Kisimul Castle is also by boat, although a much smaller craft, taking just a couple of minutes to the small slipway on the tiny island that has been taken over by the building on top.  Little prepares you for the surprise interior of this little castle.  Entering through the small gateway takes you into a courtyard which appears to be surrounded by little houses.

Inside Kisimul Castle (c) Duncan Hutt

Inside Kisimul Castle (c) Duncan Hutt

Kisimul Castle with Castlebay behind (c) Duncan Hutt

Kisimul Castle with Castlebay behind (c) Duncan Hutt

The history of this building is a bit of an odd one, most of what is there today has been the result of work from 1937 to 1970 which turned the ruins into a home, mixing conservation with conversion.  Externally it’s a castle, internally a home.

With the ferry back out at sea the castle once again stands proud with the community of Castlebay scattered on the hillsides around.

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About thehutts

The Hutt Family from Northumberland
This entry was posted in Archaeology, Scotland and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to A Castle in the Bay

  1. What was the castle built to defend?

  2. thehutts says:

    It’s inhabitants I would imagine. It was also a sign of power of course.

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