The Archaeological site of Mount Bonifato is located in Alcamo. According to Licofrone of Alexandria, there was a village called Longuro on Mount Bonifato of Alcamo in ancient times. This settlement had been founded by a colony of Greeks who had escaped from Troy.
The archeological site was probably inhabited from the 7th century BCE to the 12th century AD. From the 6th century BCE Mount Bonifato very probably had the status of a satellite to the nearby town of Segesta. Further, the site shows unusual traces of human settlement during the period of the Roman Empire. After the 3rd-2nd century B.C. the Romans directed their interest towards the vale of the mount and along the coast of the gulf of Castellammare, to the west along the valley of the Fiume Freddo (later Fiume Caldo), and to the east to the valley of the Finocchio and Calatubo torrents.
The walls brought to light testify to a continuous presence from the 9th century on. When the Arabs came to Mount Bonifato, they chose to build their houses in the same place where those of former periods had stood. Moreover they found a safe place here, and adequate resources for a lifestyle suited to their family units, thanks to the presence of water.
The cisterns of the medieval era date back to the 13th century. The date is confirmed by the construction techniques used and by the finding of green glazed ceramics of that period. The work on their recovery and restoration involved the removal of the humus and other material which completely filled both cisterns. Cistern A, about 4 metres high and 6 metres long, was used by various unicellular houses. Cistern B, which is smaller than the other, is about 2.85 metres by 4.30 metres.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.