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A Day on the Galson Estate

Updated: May 20, 2021

Have you only one day to visit the Galson Estate? Whilst we wish you could stay longer, here are a mixture of popular sites which may be of interest to you.

1. Butt of Lewis Lighthouse

The Butt of Lewis Lighthouse is one of the most visited attractions on the whole of the Isle of Lewis, with 70,000 visits a year. Built in 1862 by David Stevenson, it stands at 121 feet high facing the roaring Atlantic sea, and is unusual in that it was constructed with red bricks, unlike most Scottish lighthouses. The Lighthouse is also listed in the Guinness Book of Records as one of the windiest spots in Britain. Learn the Lingo – Lighthouse = taigh-solais [tie soh-leesh]

2. Port of Ness Harbour

Just down the road from the Butt of Lewis Lighthouse is Port of Ness harbour. It was first built circa 1800, rebuilt in around 1885 and then received a concrete remodelling by D & T Stevenson in the early 1890s. It is a small, cellular dock and was once the lifeblood of Ness; the boat handling skills of the Ness community are legendary. There is also a beautiful, white sandy beach at Port of Ness Harbour where you can take a short walk and admire the sea views. Learn the Lingo – Harbour = acarsaid [ach-kur-satch] Sandy beach = tràigh [try]

[source of info:]

3. Teampall Mholuaidh / St Moluag’s Church

Saint Moluag (circa 510 – 592) was a contemporary of Saint Columba’s, who is credited with bringing Christianity to Scottish shores. There are churches throughout Scotland dedicated to Saint Molaug, of which Tempall Mholuaidh is just one. Built sometime between 1100 and the 1300s AD, Tempall Mholuaidh was restored and re-roofed in 1912 and is still in use today by the Scottish Episcopal church, despite having no electricity. It has become associated in oral tradition with those who seek to be healed, and today, a prayer message can be left at any time for someone in pain. The church is open to the public daily.

Learn the Lingo - Church = eaglais [ick-lish]

4. Clach an Truiseil/Ballantrushal Stone

Visit the tallest standing stone in Lewis – higher than those at Callanish, and reputedly also the highest in Scotland. It stands at 19 feet above ground, with potentially another 6 ½ feet underground. According to folklore, a princess is entombed within the stone.

Learn the Lingo - [Standing stone = coirthe]

5. Steinacleit

Steinacleit is an area of ground with prehistoric ruins which were discovered in the early 20th century by crofters cutting for peats. It sits on a slight incline above a loch, Loch an Dùin, in the village of Shader. This location gives it wonderful views to the north, west and south.

Although no one knows for sure, it is likely that these prehistoric ruins are the remains of activity dating from the Neolithic to the Iron Age periods (2500BC to 500AD). What may have been a Neolithic chambered cairn seems to have been made into a house in the Iron Age, with a large walled enclosure attached where sheep or cattle would have been kept. The ancient archaeological site overlooks Loch an Dùin which has an Iron Age man-made island in the middle, joined to the shore by a stone-built causeway.

Learn the Lingo –

Cairn = càrn [kahrn]

[Sources – historians Rachel & Chris Barrowman, Historic Environment Scotland]

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