Includes Sheshader – a word picture, crofting pattern, croft histories and a guide to photographs. 87 pages.
ISBN: 1 872598 00 5
Includes Pabail – a word picture, croft histories of Pabail Uarach (Upper Bayble), Pabail larach (Lower Bayble), Cnoc na h-lolaire (Eagleton) and a guide to photographs. 171 pages.
ISBN: 1 872598 12 9
The Croft History for Cuisidar (Cuishader), Sgiogarstaidh (Skigersta), Eorodal (Eoradale) and Am Port (Port of Ness) in Ness, Isle of Lewis. 136 pages.
ISBN: 1 872598 16 1
The Croft History for Crosbost (Crossbost) on the Isle of Lewis. 90 pages.
ISBN: 1 872598 20 X
The Croft History for Tolastadh a’ Chaolais (Tolstachulish) and Dun Charlabhaigh (Doune Carloway) in Carloway, Isle of Lewis. 138 pages wirebound.
ISBN: 1 872598 24 2
The Croft History for Ranais (Ranish), Isle of Lewis. 125 pages.
ISBN: 1 872598 32 3
The Croft History for Griomsiadar (Grimshader), Isle of Lewis. 69 pages.
ISBN: 1 872598 36 6
The Croft History for Mealabost (Melbost) and Braigh na h-Uidhe (Branahuie), Isle of Lewis. 153 pages.
ISBN: 1 872598 39 0
The Croft History for Barabhas Uarach (Upper Barvas) and Bru (Brue), Isle of Lewis. 131 pages.
ISBN: 1 872598 41 2
History of the villages of Coll and Upper Coll – scene of land-raiding after the First World War. 247 pages.
(Volumes also available separately)
Volume 10 covers Coll 1-52 and Volume 11 covers Coll 53-88 and Upper Coll.
ISBN (Volume 10): 1 872598 44 7 ISBN (Volume 11): 1 872598 45 5
This is the first part of two volumes on the Croft History of Coll, Isle of Lewis. This volume covers Coll 1-52. 140 pages.
ISBN: 1 872598 44 7
This is Part 2 of the Croft History for Coll, Isle of Lewis. This volume covers Coll 53-88 and Upper Coll. 107 pages.
ISBN: 1 872598 45 5
This is the Croft History for Liurbost (Leurbost), Isle of Lewis, covering the villages of Liurbost (Leurbost), Am Baile Ur (Newholdings) and Crothaigearraidh (Croigarry). 174 pages.
ISBN: 1 872598 49 8
This book celebrates the land buyout by Urras Oighreachd Ghabhsainn. The volume covers the Croft History of the villages of Borgh Mheadhanach (Mid Borve), Am Baile Ard (High Borve), Mealabost Bhuirgh (Melbost Borve), Gabhsann bho Dheas (South Galson) and Gabhsann bho Thuath (North Galson). 152 pages.
ISBN: 1 872598 51 X
This volume contains the Croft History for the villages of Leumrabhagh (Lemreway), Orasaigh (Orinsay), Stiomrabhagh (Stimerway), Isgein (Eishken), Am Pairc (Park) and Ath Linne (Aline). 178 pages.
ISBN: 1 872598 52 8
This is the first of two parts on the Croft History of Tolsta, Isle of Lewis. This volume covers Gleann Tholastaidh (Glen Tolsta) and Tolastadh (Tolsta) Part 1. 160 pages.
ISBN: 1 872598 54 4
This is the second part of the Croft History on Tolsta, Isle of Lewis. This volume covers Tolastadh (Tolsta) Part 2 and Am Baile Ur (Newholdings). 132 pages.
ISBN: 978 0 9560848 0 4
Illustrated detailed history of this Lewis village and the people.
ISBN: 978 0 9560848 2 8
This volume covers the Croft History of the villages of Acha Mor (Achmore) and Loch a’ Ghainmhich (Lochganvich). 123 pages.
ISBN: 978 0 9560848 3 5
Tales from the village of Sheshader, Isle of Lewis.
ISBN: 1 872598 02 1
Tales from the village of Sheshader, Isle of Lewis.
This book, the second of a series on different parishes in the Western Isles, is suitable for those with a specific interest in genealogy, and also those with a more general interest in the history of these interesting and beautiful islands off the Atlantic coast of Scotland.
ISBN: 1 872598 47 1
This register comprises an index to the marriages recorded in the Old Parish Registers for the Parish of Lochs on the Isle of Lewis. The OPR for Lochs Parish, which at that time included the areas of Carloway and Shawbost, does not commence until 1831. The index contains over 600 marriages from the Lochs OPR and a further 400 marriages in that parish obtained from other sources.
ISBN: 1 872598 21 8
This register comprises an index to the marriages recorded in the Old Parish Registers for the Parish of Barvas on the Isle of Lewis. The OPR for Barvas Parish commences in 1810 and is the most comprehensive of all the OPRs in rural Lewis. This index contains over 1000 marriages from the Barvas OPR and a further 150 marriages in that parish obtained from other sources.
ISBN: 1 872598 37 4
Register of Emigrants from Barvas Parish (including Ness) on the Isle of Lewis, giving details of over 300 emigrant families. Listed by destination. 101 pages.
ISBN: 1 872598 38 2
The Church of the MacLeods of Lewis. History of the church, stories of individual residents of the parish going back to 1498 and gravestone inscriptions. 44 pages.
ISBN: 1 872598 06 4
This colourful guide presents the story of life in Lewis and Harris from the appearance of the first stone age hunter-gatherers up to 10,000 years ago, to the crofters of the last century. It offers a vivid account of the development of the islands, suggesting some of the most rewarding places to visit and providing clear descriptions of each site.
Dr Christopher Burgess has been County Archaeologist at Northumberland County Council since 2002, but for many years has led campaigns of archaeological survey and investigation in the Outer Hebrides and especially in Lewis, leading to significant advances in our understanding of the human landscape of the islands.
Colliding continents, erupting volcanoes and moving ice sheets are some of the ways in which the diversity of Scotland’s natural landscape was created. In the distant geological past, Scotland travelled towards the South Pole and wandered the southern hemisphere, before drifting to its present latitude. In the process it passed through all the Earth’s climatic zones. The landmass which we now call Scotland carried an ever-changing cargo of plants and animals, many of them now extinct.
A reprint of Nigel Nicolson’s book about Lord Leverhulme and his involvement with the islands of Lewis and Harris after the first World War, when he devised a plan to ‘rescue’ the islanders and introduce them to a ‘new’ prosperity as he saw it.
264 pp, pbk
ISBN 13: 9780861522156
Peter Cunningham has provided an English volume which will merit a place on the bookshelves of all those with island connections, bringing to the reader a sensitive and at times humorous analysis of island history. He is best known for his national reputation as an expert on birds and has published the still sought after A Hebridean Naturalist with Acair in 1979.
Calum Ferguson employs an unusual narrative technique, drawing on his mother Màiread’s reminiscences, and presenting her experiences and conversation in the first person. Màiread herself was most at home speaking Gaelic, though she never learned to read or write in that language, but only in English, the compulsory language at school.
This is a fascinating account of a culture in transition; it records and preserves for twenty-first-century readers traditions and ways of life which have now gone for ever. In the early years of the twentieth century many crofting families in Lewis lived in great poverty. This book describes that life: the limited diet, the seasonal round of work, the hardship, but also the richness of the culture, the storytelling, music-making, dancing, and the sincere religious faith that sustained the islanders through their trials.
An eye witness account of mid 19th century life on the Island of Lewis by the Factor to Sir James Matheson.
The Guga Hunters tells the story of the men who voyage to Sulasgeir each year and the district they hail from, bringing out the full colour of their lives, the humour and drama of their exploits. They speak of the laughter that seasons their time together on Sulasgeir, of the risks and dangers they have faced. It also provides a fascinating insight into the social history of Ness, the culture and way-of-life that lies behind the world of the Guga Hunters, the timeless nature of the hunt, and reveals the hunt’s connections to the traditions of other North Atlantic countries. Told in his district’s poetry and prose, English and – occasionally – Gaelic, Donald S. Murray shows how the spirit of a community is preserved in this most unique of exploits.
ISBN: 9781841586847 Imprint: Birlinn
Writing under the pseudonym ‘Aimsir Eachann’, the late Hector Macdonald scribed a brilliant weekly column that gave a voice to the Scottish Gael at the end of the 20th century.
Inspired by the great Irish writer Brian O’Nolan, who published novels under the pseudonym Flann O’Brien but wrote for the Irish Times as ‘Cruiskeen Lawn’, Aimsir Eachainn commented for more than fifteen years from North Lochs, creating an array of unforgettable characters, eccentric scenarios, magnificent satire and enraged comment, all of which were entwined with an effortless humour and grace.
Born in Ranish on the Isle of Lewis in 1945, Hector Macdonald worked for the Met Office for several years before beginning a career at the Stornoway Gazette in 1979. This was the first outlet for his weekly columns before he was poached by the West Highland Free Press. Under the tutelage of Brian Wilson he found a true home for a style of writing that could be described as thought provoking, sometimes irreverent, but nearly always funny. Over a period of more than fifteen years he wrote in the region of eight hundred columns for the West Highland Free Press under the guise of Aimsir Eachainn before his death in 1995.
ISBN: 9781841586304 Imprint: Birlinn
Positioned at the uppermost tip of Britain and facing the battling winds of the Atlantic, the Isle of Lewis has always had a strong identity of its own. A community defined by tradition for hundreds of years, the twentieth century presented huge challenges to its way of life, leaving it completely altered by the arrival of the millennium. Lewis in the Passing is a form of time-capsule, containing twenty-one autobiographical sketches of Lewis natives, all born before the Second World War. From crofter to musician, house-wife to clergyman, the selection spans the spectrum of Lewis society. Theirs are lives which have experienced these great changes, from economic disaster in the 1920s, to mass emigration in the 1930s, the ‘obscenity of battle’ during the Second World War, and afterwards the decline of the Gaelic language and the slow demise of crofting. All are interviewed by fellow islander Calum Ferguson, who presents his subjects’ stories and journeys, and understands how, in spite of the rainy climate and wind-blasted scenery, the island’s hidden magnetism continues to draw them all ‘back home’.
ISBN: 9781841585475 Imprint: Birlinn
Donald Macleod, who is professor at the Free Church College in Edinburgh, looks at the past and present. Written in the form of an exchange of letters between the author and a friend’s daughter, it will captivate all those who came to maturity in the Sixties, and act as a reminder of links between that time and the present, as well as recalling earlier characters and events familiar to many. Will be of interest also to religious historians and those reared in a religious ethos.
Inspired by the great Irish writer Brian O’Nolan, who published novels under the pseudonym Flann O’Brien but wrote for the Irish Times as ‘Cruiskeen Lawn’, Hector MacDonald, writing as the great Aimsir Eachinn, commented for more than fifteen years from North Lochs, creating an array of unforgettable characters, eccentric scenarios, magnificent satire and enraged comment, all of which were entwined with an effortless humour and grace.
The main theme of the book is death – death of a father, of an identity, of a sense of self, of a language. In tandem with that, The Nessman is also about the agent of Colin’s personal destruction – alcohol.
Yet the book is not a depressing read. It is hilariously funny, brilliantly observed and written with an astonishing ear for dialogue and eye for character. Colin’s knowledge of himself as he spirals towards destruction is unsparing and unsentimental. The result is an extraordinary and moving portrayal of a people and a culture.
This is the first book in English of the people of Ness and it is one of the first novels in which a Gaelic writer has, with utter confidence, made English his own language too.
This new book sets its small horizontal island mills within the social and historical life of the island. It seeks to answer where these mills may have come from, given that their every part is to be found in horizontal mills in many countries in Europe and beyond. Were they, for example, introduced by Viking settlers – hence their being named Norse Mills – or were they brought at an earlier period by Celts from Ireland where there is concrete evidence of their early use? The book contains a detailed gazetteer of over 250 sites where mills were once worked throughout the island, along with a map reference for each and a simple grading of the condition of the sites. Almost all these sites are ruins of the former mill building and lade. The book is extensively illustrated with pen and ink drawings and a range of photographs and other images.
Donald S Murray’s new collection of poetry is called Praising the Guga. It is a stunning series of poems that examines the world of the guga and its place in the culture and cuisine of Donald’s native Ness in the Isle of Lewis.
Guga is the name given to the young gannets harvested annually from Sulasgeir, 40 miles north east of the Butt of Lewis. The birds form a traditional part of the diet in Ness, and it is a tradition that continues to this day.
The pamphlet is being launched alongside Donald’s book The Guga Hunters (Birlinn), a brilliant account of the world of the guga. Together these works tell a unique and fascinating story of a community, a way of life, and their relationship with the beautiful and enigmatic gannet.
The Isle of Lewis, the largest and the most northerly of the islands of the Outer Hebrides, has had an eventful story from prehistoric times through to the present. Evidence of human occupation stretches back to 3000 BC, explicit in the iconic silhouettes of the Standing Stones at Callanish. After the Vikings left in the ninth century, the clans of West Scotland quickly moved in, and Lewis was the site of many feuds between the Morrisons, the MacAulays and the MacLeods. The island operated largely independently until it was purchased by the MacKenzies in 1600 and was finally drawn into Scotland
Tales and Traditions of the Lews is a marvellous pot pourri of local history, myth and legend from prehistoric times to the present day.
NEW – BILL LAWSON’S 60TH BOOK
The Isle of Lewis, the largest and most populous of the islands of the Outer Hebrides, has had an eventful history which stretches back thousands of years. In this eagerly awaited second volume of Lewis in History and Legend, Bill Lawson deals with the townships of the east coast of the island, from Tolsta in the north to the boundary with Harris in the south, and with Stornoway, the commercial and administrative capital of the island.
In his own inimitable style, he traces the story of the island from earliest times to the present day, describing the landscape and the physical remains of the past. More importantly, however, he excels in charting the history of the people themselves, weaving his way through the centuries with stories drawn from documented sources, oral tradition, Gaelic song and from his own experiences of many years travelling around the island and researching the history of its families.
The result is a unique insight in to the way of life and history of an island.
Bill Lawson founded the genealogy centre Co Leis Thus? and is genealogical consultant to Northton Heritage Trust, which now runs this research service. He has written sixty books on the genealogies and history of the western Isles. He regularly researches and lectures in North America and Australia. He lives in Northton, Harris.
ISBN: 9781841583693 Imprint: Birlinn
In 1918, as the First World War was drawing to a close, the eminent liberal industrial Lord Leverhulme bought – lock, stock and barrel – the Hebridean island of Lewis. His intention was to revolutionise the lives and environments of its 30,000 people, and those of neighbouring Harris, which he shortly added to his estate. For the next five years a state of conflict reigned in the Hebrides. Island seamen and servicemen returned from the war to discover a new landlord whose declared aim was to uproot their identity as independent crofter/fishermen and turn them into tenured wage-owners. They fought back, and this is the story of that fight. The confrontation resulted in riot and land seizure and imprisonment for the islanders and the ultimate defeat for one of the most powerful men of his day. The Soap Man paints a beguiling portrait of the driven figure of Lord Leverhulme, but also looks for the first time at the infantry of his opposition: the men and women of Lewis and Harris who for long hard years fought the law, their landowner, local business opinion and the entire media, to preserve the settled crofting population of their islands.
The remarkable history of the Hebridean Isle of Lewis stretches back to the time of the Norse invaders (and there are significant prehistoric remains from before that time). Over the centuries, Lewis has seen a succession of powerful landlords come and go, and this ground-breaking book recounts the long-fought struggle over the land. It also describes many aspects of the islanders’ way of life over the years — agriculture and fishing, education in Gaelic and English, the Church and the people, law and order and smuggling, emigration and the armed services are just some of the topics included in this wide-ranging survey. Combining original research with a deep personal knowledge of the subject, Donald Macdonald’s Lewis: A History of the Island is a remarkable example of local history.
ISBN: 9781904246084 rrp £12.50 paperback illustrated 320 pages
A Description of the Western Islands of Scotland Circa 1695 and a Late Voyage to St Kilda: Description of the Occidental i.e. Western Islands of Scotland
One of the greatest travellers in Scotland, Martin Martin was also a native Gaelic speaker. This text offers his narrative of his journey around the Western Isles, and a mine of information on custom, tradition and life. Martin Martin’s wrote before the Jacobite rebellions changed the way of life of the Highlander irrevocably. The volume includes the earliest account of St Kilda, first published in 1697 and Sir Donald Monro, High Dean of the Isles, account written in 1549 which presents a record of a pastoral visit to islands still coping with the aftermath of the fall of the Lords of the Isles.