Barra


Barra is an island in the Outer Hebrides and the second southernmost inhabited island there, after the adjacent island of Vatersay to which it is connected by a short causeway.
In 2011, the population was 1,174.
The area of Barra is roughly 60 square kilometres (23 sq mi). The main village is Castlebay (Bàgh a’ Chaisteil).

The west of the island has white sandy beaches backed by shell-sand, machair and the east has numerous rocky inlets.

Kisimul Castle at Castlebay is on a rock in the bay, giving the village its name.
A smaller medieval tower house, Dun Mhic Leoid, can be found in the middle of Loch St Clare on the west side of the island at Tangasdale.

The highest elevation on the island is Heaval, halfway up which is a prominent white marble statue of the Madonna and Child, called “Our Lady of the Sea”, which was erected during the Marian year of 1954.
The predominant faith on the island is Catholicism and the Catholic church dedicated to Our Lady of the Sea is immediately apparent to all who arrive at Castlebay.

Other places of interest on the island include a ruined church and museum at Cille Bharra, a number of Iron Age brochs such as those at Dùn Chuidhir and An Dùn Bàn, and a range of other Iron Age and later structures which have recently been excavated and recorded.
 

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