The history of Lykkesholm Castle dates back to the 1300s. Lykkesholm was previously known as Magelund Castle, and stood on the enormous remains of a castle dating from around 1300. In the 17th century, Lykkesholm moved to its present location on the shores of the lake. The lake was dammed and water power was used to run two mills. Previously the village of Ammendrup and its six farms lay to the south of Lykkesholm, but it was razed and its fields taken over by the manor.
In 1391 Queen Margaret I (1387-1398) owned the castle – but only for a period of nine days. Because of the nobility that was against the Queens reforms, the Queen feared for Lykkesholm Castle and passed it on to her loyal esquire, who moved it to its present location.
The world-famed storyteller H. C. Andersen often spent his summers at Lykkesholm Castle. His fairy-tales was often inspired by his stay at Lykkesholm Castle which was a perfect getaway from the busy life in Copenhagen. H. C. Andersen is believed to have written several stories during his summer stays among others the well known 'The little Mermaid'.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.