Following the tracks, holloways, drove-roads and sea paths that form part of a vast ancient network of routes criss-crossing the British Isles and beyond, Robert Macfarlane discovers a lost world – a landscape of the feet and the mind, of pilgrimage and ritual, of stories and ghosts; above all of the places and journeys which inspire and inhabit our imaginations.
Bill Lawson’s latest book in the Historic Sites series deals with the Isle of
Scalpay and it charts the history of the island from early times to the present.
Illustrated with photographs taken by Bill Lawson over many years.
William MacGillivray was just 21, on the verge of a career as an outstanding naturalist and bird artist, when he left Aberdeen to spend a year at his childhood home at Northton in Harris. In that year he kept a detailed journal that provides a rare insight into the rural life of 19th century Scotland, especially of the Outer Isles. Running through the journal is his love of natural history. He wrote about the birds and plants he saw and made detailed descriptions of them.
Paul Murton has spent half a lifetime exploring some of the most beautiful islands in the world – the Hebrides. He has travelled the length and breadth of Scotland’s rugged west coast and sailed to over eighty islands.
From the lush shores of Gigha to the towering cliffs of St Kilda, he explores the islands’ breathtaking scenery and and introduces their colourful history, culture, myths and legends. He also meets some of the people who live there and make the Hebrides tick, from crofters, fisherman, tweed waulkers and clan chiefs to peat cutters, gin distillers, black pudding makers and even a parrot rescuer.
St Kilda is the most romanticised group of islands in Europe. Soaring out of the North Atlantic Ocean like Atlantis come back to life, the islands have captured the imagination of the outside world for hundreds of years. Their inhabitants were long considered to be the Noble Savages of the British Isles, living in a state of natural grace.
This book explores the life of the St Kildans from the Stone Age to 1930, when the remaining 36 islanders were evacuated to the Scottish mainland. Bestselling author Roger Hutchinson digs deep into the archives to paint a vivid picture of the life and death, work and play of a small, proud and self-sufficient people in the first modern book to chart the history of the most remote islands in Britain.
Sometimes dreams do come true and for Kenneth MacKay 20th February 1990 was the day that his dream became a reality with the official opening of the road to the village of Rhenigidale. In this very personal account Kenneth MacKay, one of the last village postmen to make the arduous journey, describes both growing up in the village and, as an adult, the successful campaign he led to have the road built. Family photographs, croft histories, maps and excerpts from the relevant papers all contribute to this fascinating story.
This volume details the croft histories of the island of Scalpaigh as well as the adjacent island of Sceotasaigh. Also includes history of Scalpaigh and pictures taken during the 1960’s. 163 Pages.
For this first volume of the Croft Histories of Harris, we have started on the Bays of Harris, beginning in the village of Liceasto (Likisto) and moving south through Geocrab, Aird Sleimhe (Ardslave) and Manais (Manish) to Fleoideabhagh (Flodabay), so covering the whole of the old Manais School area. All of these villages date from the 1790s, the period when Captain Alexander MacLeod of Bearnaraigh encouraged people to settle in the Bays as a part of his scheme for the development of fisheries on the island. The author has tried to cover the history of each croft from that time to the present day, though it has not always been possible to identify the earliest tenants with complete accuracy. Spiral Bound, 144 pages.
Croft History of the villages of Urgha, Carraigrich (Carragrich) and Caolas Scalpaigh (Kyles Scalpay). 155 pages, genealogies and local history.
ISBN: 1 872598 28 5
This volume contains the Croft History for the villages of Cuidhtinis (Cuidinish), Aird Mhighe (Ardvey), Fionnsbhagh (Finsbay), Borsam and Lingreabhagh (Lingerbay) on the Isle of Harris. 141 pages.
ISBN: 1 872598 40 4
This volume contains the Croft History for the villages of Greosabhagh (Grosebay), Cliuthair (Cluer), Caolas Stocinis (Kyles Stockinish), Leac a Li (Leaclee) and Aird Mhighe (Ardvey) on the Isle of Harris. Illustrated, 167 pages.
ISBN: 978 0 9560848 1 1
Tony Scherr was estate factor at Borve Lodge from 1966 to 2000. A fascinating account of the Lodge, once owned by Lord Leverhulme.
BAR British Series 408 2006
Presents the site of Northton in the Western Isles of Scotland. During excavations in 1965 and 1966, two early horizons were identified beneath and close to the base of the machair sands.
This book covers the Island of Taransay and the villages of Luskentyre, Seilibost, Horgabost and the Borves. Illustrated with photographs of people and places and maps. Read the rest of this entry »
A Register of Emigrant Families from the Western Isles of Scotland to the Prairie Provinces of Canada
Includes information on emigrants to Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba including the Killarney, Saltcoats, Wapella and Clandonald settlements from Lewis, Harris the Uists, Benbecula and Barra. Read the rest of this entry »
This book, dealing with the historical background to various items of interest connected with the offshore island of Taransay. 44 pages.
ISBN: 1 872598 27 7
This book, dealing with the historical background to various items of interest connected with the Churches at Northton and Scarista, is the fourth in a series looking at various historical sites in the Western Isles.
ISBN: 1 872598 15 3
The first edition of ‘Harris Families and How to Trace Them’ was published in 1990, and major advances in research and in availability of source materials since then have made a new edition necessary, both 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 04 8
This register comprises an index to the marriages recorded in the Old Parish Registers of Marriages in the Parish of Harris, where the OPR does not commence until 1828 on the main islands, and 1823 on the Island of St. Kilda. It contains approximately 140 entries from the OPR, and over 600 unrecorded marriages.
ISBN: 1 872598 09 9
The landscape of the Outer Hebrides, with its stark cliffs, ghostly mists and lonely beaches, has become a definitive character of Peter May’s Lewis trilogy. In Hebrides, readers will accompany him on an odyssey in prose and images, through a history of the Vikings’ ‘Long Island’ and his own deep personal connection with the islands that influenced his bestselling work.
Travelling as if alongside his protagonist Fin Macleod, he describes the island life – as bewitching as it is treacherous – his encounter with the bird-hunters of Sula Sgeir, the savage seas of Ness and the churches of Eriskay. With extracts from the trilogy and specially commissioned photographs, this book places his writing and characters within the land that gave them form.
This book compiles a selection of Gaelic songs from Harris.
ISBN: 1 872598 26 9
History of the church and the parish with individual records of residents that emigrated and those who didn’t. The island was cleared in 1846, with many going to Cape Breton and Australia
ISBN: 1 872598 18 8
The Church of the MacLeods of Harris and Skye. History, gravestone inscriptions, listing of 22 tenant farmers in 1680 as well as short histories of individuals back to 1547. 44 pages.
ISBN: 1 872598 05 6
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.
An account of a life at sea and as a family doctor in the Isle of Harris. Proceeds from the book go to Crossroads Care Attendant Scheme in Harris.
Following service as an agricultural officer in Zanzibar, Geoff Wilkinson returns to the island of Pemba for three years as a married man before starting a new life in the Hebrides. This is the fascinating story of his challenging and rewarding ten years on the island of Harris.
Traditional songs and music from the talented youngsters of Sir E Scott school in Tarbert, Isle of Harris, with their teacher, Iain MacIver. The group have their roots steeped in the traditional culture of their homeland.
Accordion, fiddle, small pipes, guitar, clarsach, piano and vocals
The Truth about St Kilda is a unique record of the isolated way of life on St Kilda in the early part of the twentieth century, based on seven handwritten notebooks written by the Rev. Donald Gillies, containing reminiscences of his childhood on the island of Hirta. It provides a first-hand account of the living conditions, social structure and economy of the community in the early 1900s, before the evacuation of the remaining residents in 1930.
Based on a childhood in Harris – wonderful story-telling from the well-known broadcaster, Finlay J MacDonald.
The story of Marion Campbell, a Harris weaver. Sixty years after she first started weaving Marion was still making tweeds in the manner of her youth. During the summer months especially, there was a constant stream of visitors to her loom shed in Plocropool. They came from all over the world.
Detailed and authoritative history of Finsbay Lodge, home of the Hebridean Sporting Association, and much of its surroundings. The author has unearthed an amazing amount of detailed information, not just about the Lodge and the characters that were drawn to it and to Harris, but also relating to the fish and fishing. Evocative glimpses of unique Hebridean life for both local and visitor at the beginning of the 20th century and at the start of the First World War.
A classic and vivid overview of the history and culture of St Kilda up to the time of the evacuation in 1930. Includes detailed treatment of the population and families, their homes, shielings, bothies and storehouses, domestic life, pastoral and arable farming, fowling and fishing, customs and beliefs, stories and songs, religion, education and health, and communications. 338pp hardback, including many diagrams and illustrations.
240 x 162 mm 352pp 32 b/w plates ISBN: 978 1 899272 03 7
On 29 August 1930 the remaining 36 inhabitants of this bleak but spectacular island off Scotland’s western coast took ship for the mainland. A community that had survived alone for centuries finally succumbed to the ravages that resulted from mainland contact. What their lives had been like century after century, why they left, and what happened to them afterwards is the subject of this fascinating book. It is the story of a way of life unlike any other, told here in words and pictures, and of how the impact of twentieth-century civilisation led to its death.
This 297 page paperback by Tom Steel is one of the most popular books about St Kilda and is a highly recommended read. It contains numerous old photos.
A vast canon of literature has been produced over the years on St Kilda, most of which has focussed on the resilient people who have lived there, but before now none have focussed on the natural history of the island, nor has such a book been written by a native resident.
In 1697 Martin Martin, a Gaelic-speaking scholar from Skye, travelled to St Kilda to study the island’s flora and fauna and to learn about the now extinct great auk. Much of the information that he gathered during this expedition was relayed to him by the islanders. Naturalists from Martin down to Robert Atkinson in 1938, not only witnessed the people’s way of life but also the wildlife around them, both priceless assets that have recently won for St Kilda dual World Heritage Site status.
A Natural History of St Kilda is a synthesis of what these naturalists and scientists experienced and gives evidence that shows just how important wildlife was to the survival of the islanders. Much of this information has lain for years in little known private diaries, files, reports or obscure scientific journals. John Love puts background and personalities to the names whilst describing the natural features of the islands of St Kilda, creating a fascinating and insightful account which will appeal not only to naturalists, but to all who are fascinated by the St Kilda, by its human history and by islands in general. Its remoteness and inaccessibility are notorious but one need not have set foot on St Kilda to enjoy this book.
ISBN-10: 1841587974 ISBN-13: 978-1841587974
Sea Room describes – and relives – a love affair with three tiny islands in the Hebrides which the author has owned for the last twenty years. The Shiants (the name means the holy or enchanted islands) are a wild and dramatic place, with 500 foot high cliffs of black columnar basalt, surrounded by tide rips, filled in the summer with hundreds of thousands of seabirds and with a long and haunting history of hermits, shipwreckers, famine and eviction. Adam Nicolson’s father, Nigel, bought them as an Oxford undergraduate in 1937 for £1,400 and gave them to his son on his 21st birthday. They became the most important thing in his life, not only an escape but as the source of a deep engagement with the natural world in some of its most beautiful, alarming and all-encompassing forms.
This volume covers the villages of Scarasta and Northon and the Island of Pabbay in the Sound of Harris. Detailed genealogies of all the families as well as the older history of the areas.
The full story of the steamer services from the Scottish mainland to St.Kilda, from the visit of the first steamship in 1834. In particular, the story of John McCallum and Martin Orme, and the steamers ‘Hebrides’, ‘Hebridean’, and ‘Dunara Castle’.
Listed by destination. This volume gives details of over 300 emigrant families whose destination has been discovered, in addition to over 100 other families who are known to have left Harris, but whose destination is as yet unknown. 87 pages.
ISBN: 1 872598 10 2
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.
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.
This is the story of the communities and people of Harris in history and legend. One of the largest and most famous of all the islands of Scotland, astonishingly little has been written about the varied and eventful life of Harris, perhaps because the island has been so self contained. Including much material on the now deserted islands around Harris, including new information on St Kilda, Bill Lawson’s book is the first modern account of Harris and those who have shaped its history over thousands of years.
ISBN: 978 1 84158 523 9