Lewis and Harris

Lewis and Harris ( Scottish Gaelic : Leòdhas agus na Hearadh ) is a Scottish island in the Outer Hebrides . It is the largest island in Scotland and the third largest in the British Isles , after Great Britain and Ireland .


The northern part of the island is called Lewis , the southern is Harris and they are often referred to as if they are separate islands. The boundary between Lewis and Harris is on the island between Loch Resort ( Reasort , opposite Scarp ) and Loch Seaforth ( Shiophoirt ) on the east (north of the more obvious isthmus at Tarbert).

The island does not-have a one-word name in Either English or Scottish Gaelic , and is Referred to as ‘Lewis and Harris’ Lewis with Harris ‘Harris with Lewis’ etc. [7] Rarely used to be the collective name of “The Long Island” ( Scottish Gaelic : An -Eilean Fada ), [8] although it is sometimes applied to the entire Hebrides , including the Uists and Barra. [9]

Most of Harris is very hilly, with more than thirty peaks above 1,000 ft (300 m) high; the highest peak, Clisham , is a Corbett . [10] It clarification needed ] HAS year area of 841 square miles (2.178 km 2 ) – Slightly under 1% of the area of Great Britain. It is 24 miles (39 km) from the nearest point of the mainland, from which it is separated by the Minch .

Lewis is comparatively flat, where Ben More reaches 1,874 ft (571 m), and in the south-west, where Mealasbhal 1,885 ft (575 m) is the highest point.

Until 1975, Lewis belonged to the county of Ross and Cromarty and Harris to Inverness-shire . The entire island group is now managed by Comhairle nan Eilean Siar , the Western Isles Council.

Nearby smaller islands

Other nearby islands in the Lewis and Harris group are Beàrnaraigh (Great Bernera) and Sgalpaigh (Scalpay). Tarasaigh (Taransay) and An Sgarp (Scarp), now uninhabited, are islands close to the shore of Harris.


Lewis and Harris was the most populous of the Scottish Islands , and had just over 20,500 residents in 2011, [3] a rise of 5.6% from the 2001 census total of 19,918. [11] Stornoway is the main town of the island, and the civil parish of Stornoway, including the town and various nearby villages, has a population of about 12,000. [12]

Transport links

Stornoway ( Steòrnabhagh ) HAS ferry links to Ullapool and air services to Benbecula , Inverness , Aberdeen , Glasgow and Edinburgh . An Tairbeart ( Tarbert ) is the ferry terminal in Harris with connections to Skye and North Uist . However, the main ferry to North Uist uses the terminal at Leverburgh (An t-Òb).


The island is the ancestral homeland of the Highland MacLeod Clan , with those individuals on the MacLeod of Harris or MacLeod of MacLeod, and those on the MacLeod of Lewis. quote needed ]

Lewis is also the ancestral home of Clan Morrison .

The Lewis chessmen are a famous collection of 12th-century chess pieces, carved from walrus ivory and mostly in the form of human figures, qui Were Discovered in Uig in 1831.


A major industry on the island is the production of Harris tweed fabric, which is handmade on the island; by law only fabricated in the Outer Hebrides can be called Harris tweed. [13]

In literature

The Lewis Trilogy of novels ( The Blackhouse , The Lewis Man and The Chessmen ) by Peter May , is set on Lewis and Harris.


  1. ^ Jump up to:b Haswell-Smith (2004) p. 262
  2. ^ Jump up to:b Area and population ranks: there are c.  300 islands over 20 hectares and 93 permanently inhabited islands were listed in the 2011 census .
  3. ^ Jump up to:c National Records of Scotland (15 August 2013) (pdf) Statistical Bulletin: 2011 Census: First Results on Population and Household Estimates for Scotland – Release 1C (Part Two) . “Appendix 2: Population and Households on Scotland’s Uninhabited Islands”. Retrieved August 17, 2013.
  4. Jump up^ Haswell-Smith, Hamish (2004). The Scottish Islands . Edinburgh: Canongate. ISBN  978-1-84195-454-7 .
  5. Jump up^ Ordnance Survey
  6. Jump up^ Jón A. Hjaltalín; Goudie, G .; Anderson, J. (Ed.) (1893). The Orkneyinga saga (1981 ed.). Edinburgh: Mercat Press. ISBN  0-901824-25-9 .
  7. Jump up^ Thompson, Francis (1968). Harris and Lewis, Outer Hebrides . Newton Abbot: David & Charles. ISBN  0-7153-4260-6 .
  8. Jump up^ “Lewis-with-Harris” . Encyclopædia Britannica . 1911. Archived from the original on 23 August 2013 . Retrieved 22 February 2009 .
  9. Jump up^ Murray, WH (1966). The Hebrides . London: Heinemann. p. 2. OCLC  4998389 .
  10. Jump up^ Johnstoneet al(1990) pp. 240-43
  11. Jump up^ General Register Office for Scotland (28 November 2003) Scotland’s Census 2001 – Occasional Paper No. 10: Statistics for Inhabited Islands . Retrieved 26 February 2012.
  12. Jump up^ “Scrol” .
  13. Jump up^ “Harris Tweed” .


  • Johnstone, Scott; Brown, Hamish; and Bennet, Donald (1990) The Corbetts and Other Scottish Hills . Edinburgh. Scottish Mountaineering Trust. ISBN  0-907521-29-0

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