The original Allmendingen Castle was built during the High Middle Ages probably for the Lords of Allmendingen or Alwandingen. Between 1239 and 1256 Rudolf von Alwandingen was mentioned in the record. In 1256 the Lords of Allmendingen sold both Allmendingen and the neighboring hamlet of Märchligen to Interlaken Abbey. The castle fell into disrepair and during the 16th century the cartographer Thomas Schöpf referred to it as a arx disruta or broken castle. In 1676 Albrecht Kauws mentioned the ruins of Alt-Allmendingen Castle and by 1729 the ruins were still visible. The old castle had walls that were about 2.1 meters and was a square with 9 meters long walls. The south and west side had no windows.
After the Protestant Reformation in 1528, Interlaken Abbey was secularized and its lands, including Allmendingen, were taken by Bern. A new Allmendingen Castle was built near the old castle during the 16th or 17th century. One clue as to the construction date is that a door in the tower bears the year 1607. The new castle was built for the Graffenried family in the Renaissance style. The tower was initially topped with a high pointed roof, which was later replaced with a lower one. In the 18th century, the castle was renovated by the Schultheiss Isaak Steiger and then by his son Franz Ludwig. They expanded the castle with a garden court yard and a connecting arbor.
On 17 September 1946 Winston Churchill visited Allmendingen Castle.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.