Under the current Santa María La Antigua church foundations have been found remains of a Roman hypocaustum. The church was likely founded in 1095 by Count Pedro Ansúrez, although there are no remains of this original structure. The oldest parts of the current temple date to the late 12th century: the gallery in the northern side of the building and the tower, both in Romanesque style. The tower, one of the symbols of Valladolid, has four floors, the upper three featuring windows, and a pyramidal top.
The naves and sanctuary of the church were rebuilt in the 14th century in Gothic style, following the style of Burgos Cathedral. The church has three aisles, with three polygonal apses and a transept. The nave and the aisles are rib vaulted.
Due to a poor foundation, too next to the Esgueva River, and the increasing size of the parish population, the building underwent successive additions and reparations: in the mid-16th century, architect Rodrigo Gil de Hontañón restored the collapsing building, adding buttresses and several windows.
Also from this period date the high altar retablo, by Juan de Juni (1550-1562; now in the Valladolid Cathedral). Several Baroque altarpieces were executed for the church's interior during the 17th and 18th centuries, hiding the original Gothic appearance.
In the early 20th century the building was extensively restored and rebuilt in order to show its original Romanesque-Gothic appearance, following the doctrines of the French architect Eugène Emmanuel Viollet-le-Duc.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.