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Eye Peninsula Hospitality Accommodation Guide

Eye Peninsula Visitor Information Guide

  • Eye Peninsula Latitude 58.2020° N Longitude -6.2583° W
  • Eye Peninsula Postcode HS2
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Eye Peninsula better known locally as the Parish of Point, juts out into the Minch from a point some 3 miles east of Stornoway where it is joined to Lewis by an extraordinarily narrow isthmus, which carries a road and has had to be strengthened with concrete against the south east gales which were threatening to make Eye an island, from Stornoway, this road crosses another intervening semi peninsula past the villages of Sandwick and Melbost and the airport. Eye or Ui in the Gaelic, is one of the most highly populated parts of Lewis, and several villages are passed before reaching the important lighthouse at Tiumpan Head, where the Prince of Wales, then aged eight, inaugurated the new foghorn during a royal tour of the Western Isles in 1956.

The fishing and crofting community of Eye cling to their individuality, and it is said that the Gaelic spoken there differs from that on the rest of Lewis.

The most notable historical feature of the peninsula is on the shore of Broad Bay on the west side and at the north east end of Braighe Sands: the ruins of the Ui Chapel and a cemetery which is the burial ground of the MacLeod Chiefs of Lewis.

At the Reformation there were two priories in the Western Isles, Ui and Rodil in Harris, which were among the twenty eight monasteries of the Canons Regular of St Augustine who established themselves at Scone in lll4 under Alexander I.

The Chapel of Ui is thought to have been founded by one of the Macleod Chiefs, dedicated to St Catan, and was associated with Inchaffray Abbey, whence came its first Prior. This roofless ruin shows several periods of rebuilding, and it is not possible to date its obviously very early foundation, but there is a beautiful Celtic stone on the north side commemorating Margaret Macleod, mother of John MacFingone, the last Abbot of Iona.

On the south side is the effigy of Roderick Macleod, 7th Chief of Lewis, who is said to have cut a considerable figure in the reign of James ll (1437 60).

There is also the grave of William, Earl of Seaforth, who died in 1740, a marble tablet in memory of Colonel Colin Mackenzie, first Surveyor General of India, and the grave of a lieutenant who fought with Nelson at Trafalgar.

The last service in the Chapel was in 1828, and the last person buried there, about 1900, was Margaret Macleod of Bayble, who was well over 100 years old.

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