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Stornoway much the biggest town and seaport in the Hebrides, is also now officially the capital, as headquarters of the Western Isles Authority. To quote the ofﬁcial local guide-book, it is ‘a salty, swaggering, colourful town of friendly open hearted people, a town of contrasts which has stepped into the 20th century without prejudicing its traditional virtues, Stornoway has certainly survived many ups and downs, even invasions.
Stornoway Ever since the Vikings pushed their way into the almost landlocked natural harbour of the town 1000 years ago there has been a settlement here that has acted as a focal point not only for the island of Lewis but for the whole of the Western Isles. From its original collection of 'rude huts', Stornoway has grown up round the castle of the major Lewis clan: the Macleod’s.
The structure, now lost under the magnificent pier and harbour installations, saw much activity in the 15th and 16th centuries, mainly repelling incomer’s intent on exploiting both the island and its people. Today Stornoway, connected by a car ferry with Ullapool on the mainland, is a rather splendid-looking town, though many of its older buildings have been cleared away and it has lost its former characteristic originality.
Stornoway offers the visitor traditional island hospitality in the bed and breakfast accommodation which is available.
Even so there are still a number of fine houses and churches Its present castle was built in 1850 by Sir James Matheson, a native of Sutherland who made his fortune in the Far East. He was once called 'Mr Drug' by Disraeli in the House of Commons, on account of part of that fortune being made from opium. Matheson purchased Lewis in 1844 and his regime lasted until Lewis was bought in 1918 by Lord Leverhulme of Sunlight Soap fame.
The latter's scheme for the development of Lewis ended in frustration, but not sourness. Before he left, he gave the castle and its wooded policies (park) to the people of Stornoway as public property. The managing agency, the Stornoway Trust, is the only body of its kind, with its land held in common trust,
If you own holiday accommodation in Stornoway then you can advertise if free.