The written history of Pädaste Manor dates back to the year 1566. On the 25th of June of that year Fredrik II, King of Denmark handed the manor over to the von Knorr family in recognition of services rendered to the Danish Crown. The manor and surrounding farms were an important centre of agricultural activity already by that time.
It must have been much earlier, not long after bishop Albert von Buxhoeveden by decree of Pope Honorius III led the last and decisive battle on Muhu Island against the Estonian heathens that this enchanting site was selected to build a manor.
The origins of the manor go back to the 14th century, some of these ancient walls are still visible at the very heart of the house. In the latter part of the 19th century the house was enlarged considerably and given a new façade, hence the harmonious dimensions and clean lines which give the house it’s character today.
The buildings that frame the court yard were erected between 1870 and 1890, a period of German-Baltic nobles. The manor was a state-owned building from the end of the Second World War until 1986 when it again became private property. Since 1997 The fully renovated manor complex has been turned into a luxury hotel and a spa complex.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.