St Aubin's Fort was developed on a rocky islet off the coast at the western end of St Aubin's Bay. It was finished in the 1540s. At that time St Aubin was the primary port on Jersey and the fort controlled the entrance. In the 17th century the Civil War the Parliamentarians turned it into a stronger fortress, by building a bulwark on it, and when the Royalists regained possession they replaced this with granite ramparts and added a storey to the tower. In the 18th century, and again in the 19th, the fort was rebuilt twice, but in peaceful Victorian times it was let as a summer residence. In the Second World War the Germans strengthened the fort with turret guns and concrete casemates.

A causeway extends from the road in front of the Royal Channel Islands Yacht Club to the fort, and one can walk out at low tide. However, the fort itself is closed to the public. Jersey's Sea Scouts use the fort as a headquarters, storing their sails and other equipment in a German bunker built into the fort. They have also converted a room in the tower into a classroom.

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Kisimul Castle

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.