Wow! Day 8 was a busy day… Not sure how we managed to fit so much in. A day spent visiting Lews Castle, a recreation of a Norse mill and Kiln, The Black House Village and Dun Carloway Broch. The Norse mill and kiln was not an intended visit, but a happy discovery.
Lews Castle was both a bit of a disappointment and a pleasant surprise. I was disappointed that there was not more of the castle accessible for visiting, and there was very little on the history of the castle. However, it is the home to the fantastic Museum nan Eilean, where you can see the famous Lewis Chessman! Another disappointment was there was no guidebook for the castle or the museum for me to add to my collection.
Views of the Castle
Museum nan Eilan
It is definitely worth a visit, but only for a couple of hours or so. Great if you have kids, as there are huge amount so castle ground for them to explore and run around in. The café is pretty good too :). You can find out more here https://www.lews-castle.co.uk/.
Oh, and its free entry, but does have a box for donations. Which I would strongly people to contribute to if they do go.
A recreation of a Norse Mill and Kiln
An unexpected find on the way from Stornoway to The Black House Village. A recreation of a Norse, or potentially Pre-Norse Mill and Kiln. A beautiful recreation which is completely left unmanned! This amazes and shocks me as this could be done where I live in the South of England ( Hampshire) as it would be vandalised. But this was is in immaculate condition, no rubbish or anything. However, it being unmanned meant there was no one to ask questions, the only information was in a folder in one the houses. Please let me know if there is something similar near you :).
I even found a ritual offering left on a stone nearby 😉
Gearrannan Blackhouse Village
Part living history museum, part holiday accommodation, Gearrannan Black House Village is definitely worth a visit for an hour or two if you are passing. Experience the history and heritage of crofting life and the important role it played in Island life. With friendly and knowledgeable staff and a great shop and café, it makes for a very pleasant visit. More can be found out here http://www.gearrannan.com.
A well as the immaculate preserved/conserved Black Houses in the village, there a couple of houses left to ruin a short walk away.
Dun Carloway Broch
I also visited another site I have wanted to visit for a while. Unfortunately the visitor centre was closed by the time we had arrived, but the Broch was still open for viewing, again I am surprised, and it is a glorious site. The only information available actually in the broch is one interpretation panel which has a great reconstruction of the site and interpretation of the different levels – bottom floor for animals, middle floor for living/working and the roof for smoking/food processing.
I was gutted I could not see the visitor centre, so I cannot comment on what that is like. You can find out more here https://www.historicenvironment.scot/visit-a-place/places/dun-carloway/.
And when I say open, I mean completely open, no railings or anything.
I do plan to do an article on each of these separately, exploring them in more detail, do not worry the ones on the Callanish Stones and the Skye Museum of Island Life (although I may combine this with Blackhouse Village article) soon, probably after I return.
Day 10 I am going to learn more about how whisky is made at the Abhainn Dearg Distillery.