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Lewis, Stornoway, Lews Castle, Matheson Memorial

Commemorative Monument (Period Unassigned)

Site Name Lewis, Stornoway, Lews Castle, Matheson Memorial

Classification Commemorative Monument (Period Unassigned)

Alternative Name(s) Lewis Castle; Lews Castle College; Lews Castle Policies And Gardens

Canmore ID 166373

Site Number NB43SW 49.04

NGR NB 41818 32903

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

  • Council Western Isles
  • Parish Stornoway
  • Former Region Western Isles Islands Area
  • Former District Western Isles
  • Former County Ross And Cromarty

Recording Your Heritage Online

In the 1840s Matheson began an extensive planting programme, which transformed the bare slopes of Gearraidh Chruaidh and removed large numbers of people from their grazing lands, eradicating existing settlements. However, in this decade of potato famine, he provided welcome employment. There were private pleasure grounds and woodland gardens to be planted, a park and glen walk to be landscaped, carriage drives and paths to be made, and estate buildings to be constructed. The later 19th century saw further landscaping, the introduction of specimen trees, a terraced garden and new kitchen garden, and foreshore works leading to Cuddy Point, a sham forework of 1868 with battlemented seawalls. Overlooking a curved terrace on the slopes above, the Matheson Monument, erected by Sir James's widow, 1880, is a domed baldacchino of marble, restored 2005, when its missing statue was returned. Various later 19th century lodges, also designed by Charles Wilson c.1840s, include: Creed Lodge, with a diagonally-set turret and rare surviving polygonal cast-iron gatepiers (its drive usurped the former public road); Porter's Lodge, a gothic gatehouse straddling the main drive from Bayhead, and Marybank Lodge, guarding an imposing entrance to the castle, with carriage and pedestrian gates between quadrants and octagonal piers. In its garden, octagonal kennels, a roofless version of those at Grimersta and Uig, c.1870

Taken from "Western Seaboard: An Illustrated Architectural Guide", by Mary Miers, 2008. Published by the Rutland Press

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