Scots Roots

Butt of Lewis Lighthouse
May 15, 2017, 10:11 am
Filed under: Photographs | Tags: ,

Butt of Lewis Lighthouse 1Built in 1862 by David and Thomas Stevenson, this lighthouse is situated at the northernmost tip of the Isle of Lewis, one of the windiest spots in the United Kingdom.

Butt of Lewis Lighthouse 2The red brick tower stands 37 metres tall and its light has a range of 25 miles. Like many lighthouses in Scotland, it was automated in 1998.

Butt of Lewis Lighthouse 3

Butt of Lewis Lighthouse 4


North Lewis Poppy Trail
September 6, 2016, 1:33 pm
Filed under: Photographs, Scottish History | Tags: , ,

Poppy Trail 1These photos aren’t exactly picturesque but the story they tell is quite interesting. Large poppies have been placed beside the homes or crofts of the men of North Lewis in the Outer Hebrides who lost their lives in World War One.

Poppy Trail 2Poppy Trail 3It’s shocking to look down whole streets and see these reminders outside nearly every house – not always single flowers but often two, three or four outside individual dwellings. Some villages have 20 to 30 poppies.

The loss of so many young men – sons, brothers, husbands, fathers – must have been devastating to such a rural community. Around a quarter of 900 people from the north of Lewis who served in the war didn’t return. The Trail is a very moving memorial to the men who died.

Poppy Trail 4

Poppy Trail 5

The Lewis Chessmen
February 4, 2015, 9:41 am
Filed under: Photographs, Scottish History | Tags: , , ,

Lewis chess piece 1Thought to have been made in Norway in the 12th century, a hoard of medieval gaming pieces was found at Uig on the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides in 1831.

The collection consisted of 78 chess pieces, 14 tablemen and a belt buckle.

Most of the pieces are carved in walrus ivory but some are made from whale teeth.

Lewis chess piece 211 of the pieces are currently exhibited at the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh and the other 82 pieces are owned and usually exhibited by the British Museum in London.

Some of the chessmen were stained red when they were found indicating that red and white may have been used to distinguish the two sides as opposed to the modern black and white.

The sizes of the pieces vary and it has been suggested that they may belong to at least five different chess sets.

Uig beach

Uig beach

Copyright © Scots Roots Research 2015

Calanais (Callanish) Standing Stones
December 7, 2014, 5:38 pm
Filed under: Photographs, Scottish History | Tags: , , ,

Callanish 1 The stones stand on a low ridge by Loch Roag on the west coast of the Isle of Lewis.

A chambered tomb is surrounded by a circle of tall stones, the highest of which stands at 4.8 metres tall. Lines of smaller stones radiate out from this circle to the south, east and west, with an 83 metre long avenue formed by two lines of stones running to the north.

Callanish 2The main circle was erected 4,500 – 5,000 years ago and the chambered tomb some time afterwards. It is not clear whether the stone alignments were from the same time period or a later addition. Nor is it known what the purpose of the stones was although it is thought to be some kind of astronomical observatory.

There are a number of similar but smaller sites in the same vicinity and the area seems to have been a focus for religious activity for at least 1500 years.

Calanais was abandoned about a thousand years after it was built and the stones were eventually enveloped by peat until 1857 when the peat was cut and the full height of the stones was revealed.

The site is now maintained by Historic Scotland, an agency for the Scottish Government.

Callanish 3

To see more, please click on Ancient Scotland.

Copyright © Scots Roots Research 2014

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