Historical Attractions

Historical Attractions

The range of Historical interest on Lewis is almost unbelievable in its quantity and quality. Your whole of your visit could be devoted to this area.

Below is a range of historical attractions on Lewis, listed in alphabetical order

For Historical attractions on Harris, click here

Gearrannan Blackhouses


Blackhouses were so named not because of the fact that they were in the early days smoke filled and had small windows, but because they were compared to new houses being built in the late 1800's which were called 'white houses'. The new 'white houses' were designed to separate humans from their livestock and animals. Read more

Carlow Broch

Carloway Broch

Carloway Broch is located above Loch an Duin on a rocky knoll in a good defensive position. A Broch is an Iron Age structure designed to impress and defend, and were probably the homes of tribal leaders and important members of the community.  The Broch is one of a number of Iron Age historical attractions on the Isles  Read more

Crannogs historical attractions


To identify a Crannog, look out for a small promontory of rock well away from the shore, but not too far as to make construction difficult or a causeway too long. On Lewis the sites still have substantial piles of stone on them, although rarely can you identify a structure. Read more

Mill at Bostadh

Isle of Great Bernera

Isle of Great Bernerais a small island connected to Lewis by a bridge on the B8059. At Bosta in the north west, the island has a wonderful beach, and an ‘Iron Age’ village. One of the Iron Age houses has been superbly rebuilt, and entry is available during the summer. Read more

Lattas Mill Front

Latta's Mill Stornoway

Recently restored, Latta's Mill is a very fine example of an 'overshot' corn mill, one of three built by the Mackenzie family, owners of Lewis at the time. The mill was named after John Latta, who died there after an accident in 1834. Read more

Lews Castle

Lews Castle

Overlooking Stornoway harbour, the impressive Lews Castle (not Lewis Castle) was built in the mid 1800's. Read more

Ness Historical Centre

Ness Historical Society

Based in the former Cross Primary School it includes an accredited museum featuring displays on various aspects of island culture including crofting, wool working, the home and much more. Read more

Shawbost Norse Mill and Kiln

Shawbost Norse Mill and Kiln

A short walk from the main A858 near Shawbost next to Loch Roinavat is a renovated pair of thatched buildings used in past times to process barley grain into meal. Read more

Callanish Standing Stones

Callanish Standing Stones

Standing Stones

The Isle of Lewis has many fine examples of stone circles, standing stones, monoliths and ironage constructions. The most important series of stones is around the area of Callanish. Read more

Ui Church

St Columba's Church Ui

Ui Church is one of the oldest churches, if not the oldest on Lewis. It is burial place to the Clan Chiefs of both the MacLeods and MacKenzies. The Trust welcome people from all over the world, those who come looking for relatives, or family connections. Read more

The Trussel Stone

The Trussel Stone

The 6 metre high Standing Stone lies just off the A857 and about 4 km north east of Upper Barvas, about 20km north of Stornoway on the A857. Turn west into the township and after 600m a track leads to a parking area and to the stone. Read more

Whale Bone Arch

The Whale Bone Arch

The two bones that comprise the arch are the lower jaw bones of a Blue Whale and were removed from a beached Whale that came ashore in 1920. The harpoon that is shown in the picture was still in the Whale, however the explosive charge in the Harpoon’s head had failed to explode. Read more

Uig Chessmen

Uig Chessmen

Uig, is not only known for its extensive golden sands, but also because of a discovery of a Viking Chess set in a small stone chamber at the edge of the beach. Inside were 93 Chess pieces made of Morse Ivory, from the husks of Walrus teeth. Many local businesses have made use of these iconic figures, including  Cornet Crafts.  More historical attractions from Lewis can be found in the Museum in Stornoway. Read more

To read about the general history of the Isle of Lewis Click here