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Lews Castle

A Category A Listed Building in Steòrnabhagh a Tuath, Na h-Eileanan Siar

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Coordinates

Latitude: 58.2116 / 58°12'41"N

Longitude: -6.394 / 6°23'38"W

OS Eastings: 142009

OS Northings: 933175

OS Grid: NB420331

Mapcode National: GBR B7L0.XQ5

Mapcode Global: WGY2Y.RVDS

Entry Name: Lews Castle

Listing Date: 25 March 1971

Category: A

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 352775

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB18677

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Stornoway

County: Na h-Eileanan Siar

Electoral Ward: Steòrnabhagh a Tuath

Traditional County: Ross-shire

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Stornoway

Description

Designed by Charles Wilson (1810-63), architect in Glasgow. Castellated mansion house, built for Sir James Matheson (1796-18789 who acquired Lewis in 1844. Begun building c. 1848, completed 1860 (ie after Wilson's death). Stylistically in the manner of houses such as Toward (1821) by David Hamilton (in whose office Wilson had trained); picturesquely-massed skyline, towers and turrets (the tallest at Lews being 102 feet), deep advance/recess of wall-planes, hood-moulded single, mullioned and/or transomed windows and crenellated wall-heads. Mostly 2/3 storeys; low service ranges. Built of local rubble - squared and pinned in areas - with imported contrasting yellow ashlar dressings; concealed roofs, mostly low-piched and slated; sash windows. East-gacing, looking towards the town. That elevation is 2-storeyed at the centre, taller towers project asymmetrically on either side, fenestration indicates that main public rooms occupy ground floor. Main entrance is set back on right hand (ie north) flank, porch-cochere set against shallow-projecting 4-storeyed tower. On low range at south, sculptured detail (grotesques, etc) are set beneath parapet; an enormous glass house (winter garden/fernery) which adjoined was demolished in recent years (illus in Grigor, MIGHTIER THAN A LORD p24). Enclosed service court at rear with belfry; tall brick stack (?Garrabost brick) may have related to heating system of glass house. Interior not inspected during 1989 resurvey.

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