Ligny Tower is a coastal watchtower built between 1671 and 1672 at a strategic position on the city's western coast. Today, the tower is in good condition, and it is open to the public as an archaeological museum.
Ligny Tower was built on a narrow strip of land on Trapani's western coast, to defend the city from attacks by the Barbary corsairs. It was named after the Viceroy of Sicily, Claude Lamoral, 3rd Prince of Ligne, who had ordered its construction. The tower was designed by the Flemish architect Carlos de Grunenbergh. It has a square base with scarped walls, with four corner turrets which originally contained lanterns.
A passage connecting the tower with the mainland was built in 1806, and guns were installed on the tower's roof until 1862. It was subsequently used as a semaphore station, but it was eventually abandoned.
In World War II, the tower was used by the Regia Marina and was armed with anti-aircraft guns.References:
Dating from the 15th century, Kisimul is the only significant surviving medieval castle in the Outer Hebrides. It was the residence of the chief of the Macneils of Barra, who claimed descent from the legendary Niall of the Nine Hostages. Tradition tells of the Macneils settling in Barra in the 11th century, but it was only in 1427 that Gilleonan Macneil comes on record as the first lord. He probably built the castle that dominates the rocky islet, and in its shadow a crew house for his personal galley and crew. The sea coursed through Macneil veins, and a descendant, Ruari ‘the Turbulent’, was arrested for piracy of an English ship during King James VI’s reign in the later 16th century.
Heavy debts eventually forced the Macneil chiefs to sell Barra in 1838. However, a descendant, Robert Lister Macneil, the 45th Chief, repurchased the estate in 1937, and set about restoring his ancestral seat. It passed into Historic Scotland’s care in 2000.
The castle dates essentially from the 15th century. It takes the form of a three-storey tower house. This formed the residence of the clan chief. An associated curtain wall fringed the small rock on which the castle stood, and enclosed a small courtyard in which there are ancillary buildings. These comprised a feasting hall, a chapel, a tanist’s house and a watchman’s house. Most were restored in the 20th century, the tanist’s house serving as the family home of the Macneils. A well near the postern gate is fed with fresh water from an underground seam. Outside the curtain wall, beside the original landing-place, are the foundations of the crew house, where the sailors manning their chief’s galley had their quarters.