Knuthenborg is a manor house originally known as Årsmarke. It was first mentioned in 1372 and owned by the Urne family from 1527. Under King Frederick III, Cornelius Pederson Lerche was granted ownership of the estate in 1667. In 1677, his daughter Sister Lerche married the Mecklenberg nobleman Christoffer von Knuth who, on inheriting Aarsmarke, did much to improve it through extensions and increased prosperity. In 1714, their son Adam Christoffer von Knuth was elevated to the status of a count under Frederick IV which resulted in the change of name of the estate to Knuthenborg.
An older residence was still standing when the current structure was under construction. Today's manor house, also known as Enkesædet, was built by the architect Henrik Steffens Sibbern in 1866 in the Victorian style and was extended in 1886. A tower of French design with a pointed spire crowns one of its corners. Several other interesting buildings on the estate were built by Sibbern in the 1860s and 1870s, all with distinct appearances and features. Egehuset (the Oak House) in the Swiss style looks a little like a Tyrolean chalet. Flinterhuset (the Flint House), built literally in flint, is the most elaborate building with many fireplaces and chimneys true to the English tradition. The imposing Godsforvalterboligen (Forest Superintendent’s Residence) is accessed through the corner tower. Sibbern also built Maglemerporten, the majestic main gatehouse and porter's residence while Vilhelm Tvede (1826–1891) added the gatehouses at Snapind.
Eggert Knuth (1838-1874) called upon the English landscape architect Edward Milner to lay out the park in the late 1860s, creating artificial lakes fed by streams running through the estate. Nils Stenson was then working as the Chief Landscape Gardener to the Count of Kunthenborg. His son, Herman Stenson, who was assisting his father as a young boy and grew up in the estate's Hunting pavilion, had also made very lovely drawings of the Kunthenborg palace and the garden. Eggert Knuth died in 1870 at the young age of 36, when the basic layout had been completed as can be seen from a relatively simple map dated 1881. Many of the finer details from Milner's original design were missing but today's garden nevertheless reflects his general concept. Adam V. Knuth who succeeded Eggert added the fanciful ruin near the main entrance, typical of the follies in English gardens of the times. In 1926, the park was the first of its kind to be listed. As a result it was opened to visitors and further developed, especially, with large displays of rhododendrons. In addition to beech, there are oak, poplar, and coniferous trees, and a Sequoia gigantea.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.