Category Archives: Stornoway History

Remnants of Victorian Stornoway: the Lews (now Lewis) Hotel

It is intriguing to imagine how the Hebridean town of Stornoway would have looked in the 1860s, when Charles Morrison was writing his diary. The Lews Hotel, located close to Macdonald & Morrison’s shop on North Beach Street, was Stornoway’s principal … Continue reading

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Angus Macdonald’s Diary, 1864 to 1873

The following extracts from Angus Macdonald’s Diary (kept 1864 to 1873) were kindly supplied by his great great granddaughter, Catherine Beveridge. Angus Macdonald (1839-74) came from Torridon on the west coast of the Scottish mainland. He served his apprenticeship as a … Continue reading

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William Macleod: Stornoway Photographer

Many Stornoway families treasure photographs depicting their Victorian and Edwardian ancestors, attired in their Sunday best. These sepia portraits, usually in the small format of cartes de visite, are often stamped on the border or on the reverse, ‘W. Macleod, Stornoway’. Sadly, … Continue reading

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The Iolaire Disaster: Kenneth Macphail’s Story

. . . future generations will speak of it as the blackest day in the history of the island . . .  (Loyal Lewis Roll of Honour 1914-1918, 1920, 311) It was the final day of 1918. After four traumatic … Continue reading

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A Visit to the Druidical Stones, Callanish, October-November 1863

On Friday 30th October 1863, four young people from the town of Stornoway, Isle of Lewis, set off on a short holiday to Callanish, famous – then as now – for its standing stones. They were two unmarried couples: Charles Morrison and  Christina Gerrie; Donald McRae … Continue reading

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A Journey by Steamer and Train, 11-13 August 1884

Transcribed from 16-year-old Margaret Ann (Maggie Ann) Morrison’s manuscript record of a journey taken in the company of ‘Pa’ – her father, Charles Morrison. In later years Maggie Ann studied music on the Continent and played professionally. She married Alexander … Continue reading

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