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Western Isles Gazetteer

A857 between Galson and the Port of Ness

A875

According to a local tradition, the stretch of road (A857) from Galson to the Port of Ness at the tip of Lewis, is said to be haunted. The tale runs that a carrier from Ness was returning from Stornoway many years ago, and had to pass a large stone slab near the village of Galson, which marked the grave of a pedlar who had been murdered at the spot. Read More »

Barpa Langass

Barpa Langass is a Neolithic chambered cairn, which now survives as a jumbled mass of stone overlooking a moonscape of barren peatland. The cairn is roughly 16 feet high, and around 82 feet across. Read More »

The Brahan Seer

Holed stone

The Brahan Seer is undoubtedly the most famous of all Celtic seers although the reality of the 17th Century Coinneach Odhar Fiosaiche or Kenneth Mackenzie is hidden deep in legend. The roots of these legends may have come from a holy man in the 1600’s, about whom legends have grown with the years. Read More »

Butt of Lewis

A sea monster was reputedly sighted in 1882. Another sea monster was reported in 1895, a few days after a similar creature was seen off Bernera. This creature was supposedly 120' long.

Callanais (Callanish) Stone Circle

Calanais 1

Situated near the village of Calanais, Isle of Lewis on a ridge of land above Loch Roag, Callanais is one of the more remote stone circles in the British Isles. The circle consists of a central stone just under five metres in height, surrounded by a circle of thirteen stones. Read More »

Clach an Truiseil

Clach an Truiseil

This mighty monolith - dating back to the late Bronze Age - is Scotland's tallest standing stone, measuring nearly 6m (20 feet) in height, it would have been even taller before the change in climate a Read More »

Dun Borranish

This ruined dun is said to have been the home of a giant called Cuithach, who in the tradition of most giants, laid waste to the surrounding area by stealing cattle and killing local people. Read More »

Dun Carloway Broch (Dun Charlabhaigh)

Dun Carloway Broch

Situated on a rocky outcrop overlooking the sea, the broch is one of the best-preserved in Lewis; one wall still stands 30 feet at its highest point. Read More »

Eilean More, Flannen Islands

The mysterious disappearance of three lighthouse keepers on Eilean More in the Flannen Isles in 1900, is probably the best-documented mysterious disappearance to have occurred in Britain. Read More »

Eye Of Lewis

A geological feature created through coastal erosion, the Eye of Lewis is a hole through an outcrop of rock. Local legend suggests that a giant used a hook and this hole to enable him to draw the Isle of Lewis to it's current location. This tale was passed on through word of mouth and if anybody knows any other details of this folk tale then we would love to hear more. Read More »

Great Bernera

In 1895 a sea monster described as having a 15' neck is reputed to have been seen off Great Bernera. This is also the year that whaling began in North Harris, leading to the establishment of a whaling station by 1907.

Hartavagh Bay Sheiling

In 'Tales From Old Barra, Told by the Coddy' (1960) (John MacPherson, Northbay, Barra, 1876 · 1955) a haunted ruined sheiling at Hartavagh Bay is mentioned. Here some fishermen would spent the night whilst out on fishing trips. Read More »

Loch Urabhal

Loch Uravel or Urabhal in Gaelic is a small body of water roughly 2 miles north of Achmore. On 27 July 1961 two teachers fishing at the loch had a strange experience. Thirty five metres from their boat they reputedly saw a two headed, single humped creature swim by.

Mermaid's Grave

Pictish Mermaid

A mermaid is said to be buried in the sands in the area around Nunton. In 1830 some women who were gathering seaweed spotted a mermaid in the waters close to the shore.They tried in vain to catch her, but she was too clever for them. Read More »

Santraigh

THERE was a herd's wife in the island of Sanntraigh, and she had a kettle. A woman of peace would come every day to seek the kettle. She would not say a word when she came, but she would catch hold of the kettle. When she would catch the kettle, the woman of the house would say--

"A smith is able to make
Cold iron hot with coal.
The due of a kettle is bones, Read More »

Santraigh

THERE was a herd's wife in the island of Sanntraigh, and she had a kettle. A woman of peace would come every day to seek the kettle. She would not say a word when she came, but she would catch hold of the kettle. When she would catch the kettle, the woman of the house would say--

"A smith is able to make
Cold iron hot with coal. Read More »

Searrach Uisge

The creature, possibly a water horse of Loch Suainbhal is referred to as the Searrach Uisge. The creature was said to inhabit the loch for over a century and in the nineteenth century it was described as being like an capsized boat when it was seen swimming around. Another description has it being forty foot long and eel like. Read More »

St Clements Church , Rodel

St Clements Church

This gloomy atmospheric church, dating from the sixteenth century, is dedicated to St Clement, who was a bishop of Dunblane parish. Read More »

St Moluag's Church

St Moluag's Church Interior

This small and ancient church has a plethora of legends and traditions associated with it, making it one of the most important mysterious sites on the Isle of Lewis. Read More »

Steinacleit

This array of boulders marks what is left of a chambered cairn, and possibly shows the site was overlain by a huge hall. The site is 50 feet in diameter and oval in shape. The age of the site is debatable and according to different sources ranges from from 1800 - 1500 BC or 3000 - 1500 BC.

Directions: Steinacleit is at Siadar on the A857.

The Blobster of the Isle of Benbeculla

In the early 1990’s a twelve foot carcass covered in sand and seaweed was discovered on a Benbecula beach by 16 year old Louise Whitts. Read More »

The Blue Men of the Minch

Folklore tells of a tribe of supernatural sea creatures called the Blue Men of the Minch, who used to inhabit the stretch of water known as the Minch, between Lewis, the Shiant Islands and Long Island. Read More »

The Isle Of Pabaidh

THERE came a woman of peace (a fairy) the way of the house of a man in the island of Pabaidh, and she had the hunger of motherhood on her. He gave her food, and that went well with her. She stayed that night. Read More »

Uist Spectre Ship

Raymond Lamont Brown gives the following account of a ghost ship in his 'Phantoms Legends, Customs and Superstitions Of The Sea (1972)'. 'Spectre ships have been long seen on the coast of Uist (Outer Hebrides, Inverness, Scotland)', and one particular story was often related by Shony Campbell (Seonaidh Caimbeul)* the famous storyteller and Gaelic poet. Read More »

Werewolves of Loch Langavat

According to folklore, a family of werewolves used to live on an island on Loch Langavat. The story suggests that the now dead werewolves would return should their graves be found and disturbed.

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