Overall, 49% of the population in Lewis was male, while 51% was female. Though historically important, they are currently in decline and crofting in particular is little more than a subsistence venture today. Stornoway is the main town on the Isle of Lewis and is also the home of the Western Isles Council. [18] In the Pairc area, oystercatchers and curlews can be seen. Lewis is, in general, the lower-lying part of the island: the other part, Harris, is more mountainous. Geonames ID The geonames id for Isle of Lewis is 8299620. In 2008, with the large increase in the price (and theft) of LPG and heating oil, there are signs that there may be a return to peat cutting. The ease of transport to Stornoway and the advent of the internet have led to many of the village shops closing in recent times. These services are provided by the local authority and several private operators as well as some community-run organisations. Peat stacks provide additional shelter to houses. 1851: 19694. The Western Isles Islands Council was established in 1975. "[31], Aside from the concentration of industry and services in the Stornoway area many of the historical sites have associated visitor centres, shops or cafes. [56], This article is about the northern part of an island in Scotland. The principal capes are the Butt of Lewis, in the extreme north, with hundred foot (30 m) cliffs (the high point is 142 ft (43 m) high)[13] and crowned with a lighthouse, the light of which is visible for 19 miles (31 km); Tolsta Head, Tiumpan Head and Cabag Head, on the east; Renish Point, in the extreme south; and, on the west, Toe Head and Gallon Head. The Lewis chessmen, found on the island in 1831, date from the time of Viking rule. The principal town is Stornoway and there are four parishes: Stornoway and Lochs in the east, and Barvas and Uig in the west. Temperature figures are average figures for that month; other figures are averages of monthly totals. The only town on the island is Stornoway, which is home to one third of the population. [50] Some community organisations in the rural districts have their own publications with news and features for these particular areas, such as the Rudhach for the Point district. [7] As Christianity began to spread through the islands in the 6th and later centuries, following Columban missionaries, Lewis was inhabited by the Picts.[7]. Stornoway is the main town on the Isle of Lewis and is also the home of the Western Isles Council. Additionally, the Lewis Peatlands are recognised by Scottish Natural Heritage as a Special Protection Area, Special Area of Conservation and a Ramsar site, showing their importance as a wetland habitat for migratory and resident bird life.[12]. Peat stacking also follows local customs and a well built peat stack can be a work of art. Stornoway is the commercial centre of Lewis, there are several national chains with shops in the town, two national supermarket chains as well as numerous local businesses. Residents of the Isle of Lewis, off the west coast of Scotland, embrace Scots Gaelic as a badge of identity in everything from street signs to football rivalry. Lewis has a linguistic heritage rooted in Scottish Gaelic and Old Norse, which both continue to influence life in Lewis. [32] There is a pharmaceutical plant near Breasclete which specialises in fatty acid research.[33]. One of the possible routes, between Stornoway and Ullapool, would be over 50 miles (80 km) long and hence become the longest road tunnel in the world;[34][35] however, shorter routes would be possible. They varied in length from about 4 to 14 metres. [42] Unusual features are the prevalence of Scottish Gaelic medium education (offered in 12 of 14 primary schools)[43] and the Nicolson Institute, the only secondary school on the island. The eastern coastline is markedly more rugged and is mostly rocky cliffs broken by small coves and beaches. The 2001 census results reveal that the most populated island in Scotland is the land mass of Lewis and Harris – with almost 20,000 residents. They were descended from Somerled (Somhairle) Mac Gillibride, a Gall-Ghàidheil lord who had held the Hebrides and West Coast two hundred years earlier. There are almost no rural public houses (for the sale of alcohol); instead, local hotels or inns function as meeting, eating and drinking places, often with accommodation provided. Book your tickets online for the top things to do in Isle of Lewis, Lewis and Harris on Tripadvisor: See 7,906 traveller reviews and photos of Isle of Lewis tourist attractions. 1991: 19901. Harris (Scottish Gaelic: Na Hearadh, pronounced [nə ˈhɛɾəɣ] ()) is the southern and more mountainous part of Lewis and Harris, the largest island in the Outer Hebrides, Scotland.Although not an island itself, Harris is often referred to as the Isle of Harris, which is the former postal county and the current post town for Royal Mail postcodes starting HS3 or HS5; see HS postcode area. Hebridean island with population of 26 suffers 'first crime' in 40 years after only shop is raided. Some villages have more than one, with these usually being specialist stores such as pharmacies or petrol stations. Lewis is the largest and most populous of the islands in the Outer Hebrides. [54] Loganair operate services to Benbecula, Edinburgh, Inverness and Glasgow. Most signposts on the islands are written in both English and Scottish Gaelic and much day-to-day business is carried out in the Scottish Gaelic language. Today, both Scottish Gaelic and English are spoken in Lewis, but in day-to-day life, a hybrid of English and Scottish Gaelic is very common. [15] Exceptions are a patch of granite near Carloway, small bands of intrusive basalt at Gress and in Eye Peninsula and some sandstone at Stornoway, Tong, Vatisker and Carloway, which was originally thought to be Torridonian,[14] but is now considered more likely to be Permo-Triassic in age.[16]. Faced with this, Leverhulme gave up on his plans for Lewis and concentrated his efforts on Harris, where the town of Leverburgh takes his name. The airport is the base of a HM Coastguard Search & Rescue Sikorsky S-92 helicopter, and was previously home to RAF Stornoway. Mobile banking services are provided to remote villages by the Royal Bank of Scotland's travelling bank. The buildings became larger and more prominent, culminating in the brochs – circular, dry-stone towers belonging to the local chieftains – testifying to the uncertain nature of life then. Lewis became part of the Kingdom of Mann and the Isles, an offshoot of Norway. The coastline is severely indented, creating a number of large sea lochs, such as Lochs Resort and Seaforth, which form part of the border with Harris, Loch Roag, which surrounds the island of Great Bernera, and Loch Erisort. The data for this record was last updated 3/8/14 . Lewis' main settlement, the only burgh on the Outer Hebrides, is Stornoway (Steòrnabhagh), from which ferries sail to Ullapool on the Scottish mainland. An important feature of the winter bird life is the great diversity of wildfowl. Sundays on the Isle of Lewis The comments below are from a regular visitor to the island, and he tries to describe Lewis from a visitor’s perspective. There is also a further education college, Lews Castle College, which is part of the UHI Millennium Institute. Most of the place names in Lewis and Harris come from Old Norse. Lewis is home to the majority of the Western Isles' electorate and six of the nine multi-member council wards are within Lewis and one is shared with Harris. Visit top-rated & must-see attractions. [8] The Norse language persists in many island placenames and some personal names to this day, although the latter are fairly evenly spread across the Gàidhealtachd. Outwith Stornoway, many villages have an all-purpose shop (often combined with a post-office). There are 15 Sites of Special Scientific Interest on Lewis in the biology category, spread across the island. Red grouse and woodcock are found in the interior. [51][52], Lewis has been home to, or inspired, many writers, including bestselling contemporary author Kevin MacNeil, whose cult novel The Stornoway Way was set in the island's capital. These winds have led to Lewis being designated a potential site for a significant wind-farm which has caused much controversy amongst the population. The Norse invaders intermarried with local people and abandoned their pagan beliefs. Where is the Isle of Harris, what is the Scotland island’s population and what is Isle of Harris gin? [26], Lewis was once covered by woodland, but the only natural woods remaining are in small pockets on inland cliffs and on islands within lochs, away from fire and sheep. [19], American mink, another introduced species (escapees from fur farms), cause problems for native ground-nesting birds, the local fishing industry and poultry farmers. Afterwards, many more inhabitants emigrated to the Americas and mainland Scotland. Lewis (given name), including a list of people with the given name Lewis (surname), including a list of people with the surname Music. For the ship, see, Traditional provinces and districts of Scotland, Major districts (former counties, provincial lordships and rural deaneries), Gammeltoft, Peder "Scandinavian Naming-Systems in the Hebrides – A Way of Understanding how the Scandinavians were in Contact with Gaels and Picts?" 1921: 28378. Today, life is very different from elsewhere in Scotland, with Sabbath observance, the Scottish Gaelic language and peat cutting retaining more importance than elsewhere. Stornoway Castle Green hosts the annual 3-day Hebridean Celtic Festival in July, attracting over 10,000 visitors. Despite the name the Harris tweed industry is today focused in Lewis with the major finishing mills in Shawbost and Stornoway. [39], Some churches in Lewis practice precenting the line, a distinctive, heterophonic style of congregational psalm singing in Scottish Gaelic. Cross from the Isle of Lewis to the island of Great Bernera on the “bridge over the Atlantic” for a real glimpse into the history of the Isle of Lewis. In recent years, Forestry Commission plantations of spruce and pine were planted, although most of the pines were destroyed by moth infestation. The Hebridean is a sister paper of the Gazette and also provides local coverage. ‘Sundays are a very special day on both The Isle of Lewis and Harris, in that, virtually all commercial activity ceases and a large proportion of the population … Population: 1,300 Language: Scottish Gaelic English: OS grid reference: Civil parish [37], While Presbyterianism dominates Lewis, other denominations and other religions have a presence with a Catholic church, a Scottish Episcopal Church (part of the Anglican Communion), there is also a Catholic priest of the Anglican Ordinariate in Stornoway,[38] a Salvation Army corps, a Pentecostal church (New Wine Church), a Plymouth Brethren church, a Baptist church, a meetinghouse of the LDS Church and a Jehovah's Witness Kingdom Hall all present in Stornoway. [citation needed] The island's first mosque opened in Stornoway in May 2018. [44], Stornoway is home to a small campus of the University of Stirling, teaching nursing, which is based in Ospadal nan Eilean (Western Isles Hospital). Lewis has a rich cultural heritage as can be seen from its myths and legends as well as the local literary and musical traditions. Lewis (and the rest of the Western Isles) became part of Scotland once more in 1266: under the Treaty of Perth it was ceded by the Kingdom of Norway. The second and ongoing phase of the Hebridean Mink Project aims to rid Lewis and Harris of mink in similar fashion.[23]. Every length of cloth produced is stamped with the official Orb symbol, trademarked by the Harris Tweed Association in 1909, when Harris Tweed was defined as "hand-spun, hand-woven and dyed by the crofters and cottars in the Outer Hebrides"; Machine-spinning and vat dyeing have since replaced hand methods, and only weaving is now conducted in the home, under the governance of the Harris Tweed Authority, established by an Act of Parliament in 1993. Emigration to the New World increasingly became an escape for those who could afford it during the latter half of the century. The Hebrides are known as the "long islands" as they stretch for 100 miles. The geology of Lewis is dominated by the metamorphic gneisses of the eponymous Lewisian complex. Historically, while Harris was part of Inverness-shire, Lewis was part of Ross-shire or Ross and Cromarty. Alluvial straths of fine pasturage, … Fish farms are present in many of the sea lochs and along with the onshore processing and transportation required the industry as a whole is a major employer. The more striking great monuments of this period are the temples and communal burial cairns at places like Calanais. [10] Southern Lewis also has a large number of freshwater lochs compared to the north of the island. As well as regularly playing host to the Royal National Mòd, there are annual local mods. During the summer months, several species of butterflies and dragonflies can be found, especially around Stornoway. Local teams currently participate in the, The village of Tong about 2 miles (3 km) from Stornoway plays host to the, The Lews Castle Grounds is the home of Stornoway, As Lewis is an island, various water sports, such as, Ballin Smith, Beverley; Taylor, Simon; and Williams, Gareth (2007), This page was last edited on 20 January 2021, at 19:04. 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