The construction of the church for Saint Nicholas, the patron of sailors, fishermen and merchants, commenced around 1280, predating the first written sources that mention Anklam, which generally date to around 1300. The church's steeple was clearly visible from far away, and was once used for navigation of the lagoon near the town. During the Middle Ages, the church was regarded as a symbol of Anklam and as a monument to the freedom and wealth enjoyed by Hanseatic citizens. In 1336, one of Anklamer’s citizens, Thedericus Nordow, financed the construction of an altar. The construction of the church is believed to have been completed around 1500 with the installation of ornamented choir banks; architect Lorenz Bole completed further extensive work in 1568. A lightning strike damaged the tower in 1574; subsequent damage occurred during a storm in 1586 and as a consequence copper plates were installed on the roof to prevent a repeat of the strike.
In 1606, the decorated benches designed for the use of coopers and other guild members were installed. Between 1696 and 1700 all the construction and repair work was finished. In 1733, a further storm destroyed the church steeple, which observers in 1703 had described as already crooked. After further storm damage the church was equipped with a lightening conductor in 1802. In December 1806, the church was used by the French army as a saddle workshop during the Napoleonic Wars. On 10 January 1807, new Buchholtz/Berlin organs were consecrated. In 1816, the church was again set on fire after lightning strike and the steeple's peak was reconstructed in 1817. In 1850, Kaltschmidt, an organ builder from Stettin, constructed new organs in the newly installed organ choir in line with the drawings of the royal construction master, Märtens. Bishop D. Ritschl consecrated the organs in 1851. After one-storey chapels had been removed in 1868, the construction inspector, Butterkirch, renovated St. Nicholas' organ gallery. The church was then equipped with vault ribbing for the windows and cornice as well as ornamented benches. In 1906 the church received colourful stained-glass windows in the choir area, new organs and ornamented benches, and the walls were repainted. The renovated church was re-consecrated on 23 April 1909.
The church was severely damaged again during the Second World War and citizens feared the risk of total collapse. In 1994, the St. Nicholas' Church Association was established in order to support reconstruction of the church. In 1995, the church was crowned with a temporary roof, an important step which enabled the church to again be used on occassion.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.