“At 1.55am on 1st January 1919, a naval yacht carrying sailors home on leave ran aground on rocks near the village of Holm, a mere 20 yards from the shore of the Isle of Lewis and less than a mile from the safe harbour of Stornoway. HMY Iolaire was crowded with 280 men, mostly naval reservists returning to the safety and comfort of their homes after the horrors of the Great War.”
Malcolm Macdonald and Donald John MacLeod’s painstaking research has taken decades and draws on an exceptional range of sources. The Darkest Dawn, is a significant and enduring testament to all those aboard the Iolaire on the night of New Year 1919
The collection of place-names on West Harris (Losgaintir, Seilibost, Horgabost, Borgh, Sgarasta Mhor, Sgarasta Bheag, and Tarasaigh) was organised by George MacLeod, who has spent all his life in the area and is a natural Gaelic-speaker. For Tarasaigh, the collection was done by Bill Lawson. who spent many summers on the island along with the MacRaes, the last family there.
The publication of this books has been made possible by financial assistance from the Bòrd na Gàidhlig and Borve Lodge Estate.
Archaeologists Angela Gannon and George Geddes have spent over nine months living and working on St Kilda, and have been part of a team which has been researching its complex and remarkable history for more than a decade. In this new book they turn the popular perception of the archipelago on its head. St Kilda, they argue, has never existed in total isolation, but has always been connected to a network of communities scattered across the north western seaboard and the Highlands of Scotland.
A a comprehensive collection of stories, from the The Outer Hebrides. Some are wellknown tales, and some have been collected by the author, but all are retold in the natural voice of a local man. You will find selkies and waterhorses, and encounter the bluemen of the stream, who test the eloquence of mariners who venture into the tidal streams around the Shiant Islands. There are tales from islands now uninhabited, like the archipelago of St Kilda, and their yarns from bustling harbors. So grab a copy and dive in.
Over six years, Madeleine Bunting travelled north-west, returning again and again to the Hebrides, exploring their landscapes, histories and magnetic pull. With great sensitivity and perceptiveness, she delves into the meanings of home and belonging, which in these islands have been fraught with tragedy as well as tenacious resistance. The Hebrides hold a remarkable place in the imaginations of Scotland and England. Bunting considers the extent of the islands’ influence beyond their shores, finding that their history of dispossession and migration has been central to the British imperial past.
By Francis Thompson. The essential guide for the discerning tourist and island devotee, the “Pevensey Island Guide: Lewis & Harris” describes everything the visitor needs to know about the islands’ heritage, landscape, climate, flora and fauna. It contains fascinating information on all the key places of interest, from areas of outstanding beauty such as the mountains, freshwater lochs and moorland to historical landmarks such as the Callanish stone circle. It is illustrated with over 100 superb colour photographs showing every aspect of the island and its people.
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
This new, thoroughly updated second edition of Bradt’s Outer Hebrides: The Western Isles of Scotland, from Lewis to Barra by experienced writer and journalist Mark Rowe is the only full-size guide to focus solely on the islands of Lewis, Harris, St Kilda, Berneray, North Uist, Benbecula, South Uist, Eriskay, Barra and Vatersay. Masses of background information is included, from geography and geology to art and architecture, with significant coverage of wildlife, too, as well as all the practical details you could need: when to visit, suggested itineraries, public holidays and festivals, local culture, plus accommodation and where to eat and drink. Walkers, birdwatchers, wildlife photographers, beach lovers and genealogists are all catered for, and this is an ideal guide for those who travel simply with curious minds to discover far-flung places of great cultural, historical and wildlife interest.
This inspirational guidebook describes 50 varied walking and backpacking routes on the Scottish Hebrides islands, set out in a larger format, and illustrated with a range of stunning photographs. The 50 walks are spread across both well-known and remote islands; from Skye, Mull, Rum, the Uists and Barra, Ulva, Iona, Eigg and Muck and more besides. Most of the walks provide a full day for experienced walkers, with a few multi-day backpacking adventures as well as some shorter routes.
The walks also include Hebrides classics, like the Trotternish Ridge, Ben More, Skye and Rum Cuillins, the Paps of Jura and full circuits of smaller islands. Each walk combines clear route description with mapping and spectacular photography, while also advising on the route’s facilities, public transport access, length and terrain. The result is a collection of the very best walks with which to uncover the wild and rugged beauty of the Hebrides.
In 1973 David Christie moved house from Essex to Scotland, but it wasn’t till 1974 that he discovered the joys of sailing on Calmac’s ships. An initial sail on King George V at Oban in her last season was a great introduction but mostly, over the next three years, I focussed on Queen Mary on the Clyde, now safely back in Glasgow at the Science Centre. Most of the Clyde piers are covered, with emphasis on Rothesay. Ferries also feature with old and new on the Rothesay and Dunoon runs and the smaller boats at Largs. The west coast features with Oban as the main terminal, then Mallaig, before a session on the pre-bridge Skye ferries. A single visit to Ullapool finishes this journey back to the seventies.
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 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
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.
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 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Illustrated Croft History covering the village of Tarbert.
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.
Based on a childhood in Harris – wonderful story-telling from the well-known broadcaster, Finlay J MacDonald.
This book compiles a selection of Gaelic songs from Harris.
ISBN: 1 872598 26 9
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.
Tony Scherr was estate factor at Borve Lodge from 1966 to 2000. A fascinating account of the Lodge, once owned by Lord Leverhulme.
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
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
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
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.