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North Uist, Lochmaddy, Sponish House

House (19th Century), Walled Garden (19th Century)

Site Name North Uist, Lochmaddy, Sponish House

Classification House (19th Century), Walled Garden (19th Century)

Alternative Name(s) Taigh Sponais

Canmore ID 171559

Site Number NF96NW 34

NGR NF 92114 69536

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
Canmore Disclaimer. © Copyright and database right 2021.

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Digital Images

Administrative Areas

  • Council Western Isles
  • Parish North Uist
  • Former Region Western Isles Islands Area
  • Former District Western Isles
  • Former County Inverness-shire

Recording Your Heritage Online

Sponish House, James Gillespie Graham, 1803 Characteristically plain, but large and lofty house of two storeys over a raised basement (with various later extensions), built for Lord Macdonald's chamberlain/sheriff, Capt. Allan Cameron. The architect warned that " the country is deep in moss so building will be a difficult job", but he created a splendid mansion by Uist standards. Used as a sporting lodge from the late 19th century, it was then from 1956 the centre of a seaweed processing factory. Fire -gutted, it became a gaunt shell, but has recently been re-roofed. Sky/Sea Chamber (Both nam Faileas - hut of the shadows) by sculptor Chris Drury for Taigh Chearsabhagh Art Centre, 1997. A stone cavern like a Neolithic tomb on the tip of the Sponish peninsula; it houses a camera obscura.

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

Architecture Notes


Scottish Record Office:


Valuation of Lochmaddy House. Valuation made by John Forsyth, mason, by the with of May MacDonald of Valay and Mr McDonald of Tanera. He considers its worth is 142 pounds, 2 shillings and 5 pence, 1800


Proposal to build a house for the Factor of Uist. James Gillespie, architet, is to be asked to sketch a plan and present an estimate. Minutes of a meeting of Lord MacDonald's commissioners, 1802


Proposed house to be built for the Factor of Uist. Letter from James Gillespie, architect to John Campbell. He writes that he will have 'the Factor of Uist's house as far forward as possible', 1803


Payments for additions to Lochmady House. Note of sums paid by John Campbell W.S. 1805-1807. James Ferguson's account of articles not applicable to the buildings under Mr Gillespie's charge, 1818


Payment made for Lochmaddy House. Sum of 250 pounds paid to [Allan] Cameron in 1805. Chaimberlain of North Uist's account. James Ferguson's account of articles not applicable to the buildings under Mr Gillespie's charge, 1818


Expense of building a house for the Factor in North Uist. Note of sums paid certified by James Gillespie, Architect. 1802-1803; 130 pounds, 4 shillings, 8 and three quarter pence

1803-1804; 424 pounds, 17 shillings, 1 pence

1805-1806; 42 pounds, 10 shillings, 1 pence

Abstract of entailed improvements, 1829


Field Visit (6 June 2015)

Built on behalf of Lord MacDonald of Sleat , proprietor of North Uist 1803, 2-storey over basement house by architect James Gillespie Graham set on falling ground, with single storey wing flanking to right and 3-storey later 19th century wing to left. Rendered. 3 apartments occupied.

Visited by Scotland's Coastal Heritage at Risk (SCHARP) 6 June 2015


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