the aftermath

Crosbost cemetery, Isle of Lewis The morning of the first day of the year 1919 dawned but despite the light the day was as dark as a day could be for the islanders. Lewis was in shock, the death toll after the sinking of the HMY Iolaire slowly became apparent. She had taken 205 men... Continue Reading →

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graves of a lost generation

The HMY Iolaire disasterHow can tragedy be grasped and described in all its horror? It is war and that affects people in all areas of their lives. The men are away fighting, none are left on the island of Lewis but the old and the young. Women struggle, they wait and they fear. Then it's... Continue Reading →

at the end of the road

Harris and Lewis are connected by one long major road, the backbone of the Longisle, really. Any time you detour from it, be it towards the West or towards the East, you are bound to discover things. Heading north from Tarbert, the first junction takes you to the western most point of Harris – Hushinish... Continue Reading →

from Sea God to Saint

Barvas cemetery Cladh Mhuire, Isle of Lewis Lewis differs in so many things from the rest of Scotland but the most obvious to visitors is faith. Religion plays a very prominent role on the island and the church certainly has more influence on life and death than anywhere else in Scotland. Even the smallest of... Continue Reading →

men only – burials on the Isle of Lewis

On the Isle of Lewis the graves seem shallow and sandy. The cemeteries are often situated close to the sea and sand seems to be more common than earth for a funeral plot. There are regulations of course, coffins are obligatory and once interred they must be covered by at least 3 feet (91cm) of... Continue Reading →

the disemboweled judge

The clan Morrison was strong on the Isle of Lewis, mainly in the area around Ness and Barvas. They held the hereditary office of brieve, meaning they were the judges in the area; a station of absolute power but not always absolute integrity. One John Morrison, brieve of Lewis, had come to the conclusion that... Continue Reading →

silent watch

Beneath Craig Dhu, which to the clouds doth rise, Beside the Spey, a grassy graveyard lies. The great grey hill its silent watch doth keep O'er those lying in their last long sleep. Many men of the pen and of the sword came out of Badenoch, a history of battles fought and lost; great Clan... Continue Reading →

smoked out

smoked out One day, long in the past, sometime between the end of the 16th and beginning of the 17th century, the Morrisons of Ness were resting in the mighty Dun Carloway, cattle grazing peacefully outside. It was summer and the days were long, birdsong filled the air. But peace was evanescent and this was... Continue Reading →

an axe wound, mass murder and lust

St Clement’s church, Rodel, Isle of Harris St Clement’s was built as a catholic church under David I, probably by one of the MacLeods of Harris but falling into disuse soon after completion. The Reformation had put an end to Catholicism on the island. It had most likely been a priory, two allegedly excisted on... Continue Reading →

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