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TITLE
Kiessimull Castle
EXTERNAL ID
PC_PRISCUS_WCS6408
PLACENAME
Castlebay
DISTRICT
Barra
OLD COUNTY/PARISH
INVERNESS: Barra
PERIOD
1890s
CREATOR
George Washington Wilson
SOURCE
Mark Butterworth - Priscus
ASSET ID
29639
KEYWORDS
Kisimul
castles
Macneill
Barra
piracy
James VI
Queen Mary
Kiessimull Castle

This photograph was taken by Scottish photographer George Washington Wilson (1823-93) and was used to illustrate talks he gave on Highland history. The following description is taken from Washington Wilson's own lecture notes.

The imposing ruin of Kiessimull Castle was at one time the stronghold of the Macneill of Barra, who is said to have entertained a very high opinion of his own importance. From the top of the highest tower of the castle it was the custom for a herald to announce the fact of the great Macneill having dined, and that all other potentates were at liberty to commence. One of the same Macneills having committed an act of piracy on an English vessel was captured by strategy and carried to Edinburgh; when tried there, he excused himself to James VI., by explaining that he wished to revenge the death of his mother, Queen Mary; this characteristic reply is said to have resulted in his release.

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Kiessimull Castle

INVERNESS: Barra

1890s

Kisimul; castles; Macneill; Barra; piracy; James VI; Queen Mary

Mark Butterworth - Priscus

Imaging the Past

This photograph was taken by Scottish photographer George Washington Wilson (1823-93) and was used to illustrate talks he gave on Highland history. The following description is taken from Washington Wilson's own lecture notes.<br /> <br /> The imposing ruin of Kiessimull Castle was at one time the stronghold of the Macneill of Barra, who is said to have entertained a very high opinion of his own importance. From the top of the highest tower of the castle it was the custom for a herald to announce the fact of the great Macneill having dined, and that all other potentates were at liberty to commence. One of the same Macneills having committed an act of piracy on an English vessel was captured by strategy and carried to Edinburgh; when tried there, he excused himself to James VI., by explaining that he wished to revenge the death of his mother, Queen Mary; this characteristic reply is said to have resulted in his release.