Kinn Church was built in the second part of the 12th century. It is the oldest and the only one of its kind in the Sunnfjord region, and it is one of the most impressive medieval monuments in Western Norway. It was the main church in the parish of Kinn until 1882, when the new Florø Church was built in the newly founded city of Florø.
Currently, Kinn Church is used only during the summer months. The church itself is built in a Romanesque style with Roman-arched windows and doors. The municipality of Kinn bought the church in 1866, and in 1868-1869, major repair work was carried out. Another restoration was carried out in 1911-1912. The most recent restoration work was completed in the late 1960s.
The 'lectorium' constitutes the oldest part of the church. Research has shown that it most likely was built in the mid-13th century, and the wooden reliefs have been carved by artists at the royal court in Bergen at the time of Håkon Håkonson. It is considered to be one of the finest gems from Norwegian medieval art.
The altar in the chancel is made of soapstone, and in the stone slab on top there is a small hole covered with a marble lid. This is where the holy objects and relics were hidden. The three saint figures in the triptych on the south wall in the chancel are made in the Netherlands, perhaps a gift to the church in the early 16th century. At Kinn, these figures have been renamed Ingebjørg, Borni, and Sunniva, all linked to local legends. The altarpiece was built in 1644, probably by Peter Negelsen who made altarpieces and other religious objects of art for many churches in this country.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.