Lewis  Ross and Cromarty


In 1887, John Bartholomew's Gazetteer of the British Isles described Lewis like this:

Lewis, or Lews (with Harris), the largest and most northerly island of the Outer Hebrides - Lewis, with Harris, 560,978 ac., pop. 28,339; Lewis, without Harris, 437,221 ac., pop. 24,876. The acres include foreshore and lochs, and the neighbouring islands parochially connected with the larger island. ...

Lewis proper is divided into the 4 pars, of Stornoway, Barvas, Uig, and Lochs, all of Ross-shire; Harris forms a parish of Inverness-shire. Lewis proper is separated from Harris by an isthmus, 6½ miles broad, between Loch Seaforth and Loch Reasort. It is triangular in shape, and measures 28 miles by 42 miles. The greater part of the surface consists of moss, moor, and loch, and but a, very small acreage is under cultivation, not withstanding the extensive improvements effected by Sir James Matheson, who purchased the island in 1844 for £190,000. (Harris is more mountainous, and a large part of the surface consists of sheep walks and deer forests.) There is almost no wood. The coasts abound with white fish and herring, and the streams with salmon and trout. Gaelic is generally spoken. The chief place is Stornoway. There are lighthouses at Arnish Point, Stornoway, and at the Butt of Lewis, the northern extremity of the island and of the Hebrides.

Lewis through time

Lewis is now part of Eilean Siar district. Click here for graphs and data of how Eilean Siar has changed over two centuries. For statistics about Lewis itself, go to Units and Statistics.

How to reference this page:

GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Lewis, in Eilean Siar and Ross and Cromarty | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.


Date accessed: 17th October 2021

Not where you were looking for?

Click here for more detailed advice on finding places within A Vision of Britain through Time , and maybe some references to other places called " Lewis ".