Scotland, autumn 2016, out on the Eye Peninsula
After a walk around Stornoway we fancied exploring a little further, and so we drove out on the Eye Peninsula, due north east of the town. There is a lighthouse at Tiumpan Head, at the very end, where you are supposed to watch for wales. We looked for a while but no large mammals broke the surface of the sea.
It was blowing quite hard and quite dull with a weak sun. I managed to find an informal rubbish dump.
At the base of the peninsula is the ruined St Columba Ui Church, the ui meaning isthmus. This is one of the most important archaeological sites on Lewis, The church was the main place of worship on the island in medieval times and is the resting place of the Macleod chiefs and the Mckenzies who ruled Lewis in later years. The memorial cairn was built to commemorate the crofters of Aignish who rioted in 1887 against the tyranny of the landlords.
Our final visit of the day was to Holm, from where we walked out onto the cliff to see the memorial to the Iolaire, a troop ship that was bringing nearly 300 men back home at the end of World War One. She had embarked from Kyle of Lochalsh late on New Year's Eve, and around 2.30 in the morning she struck the notorious rocks known as the beasts of Holm, within sight of Stornoway harbour. One man, John McLeod of Ness managed to save 40 lives by swimming out with a heavy line for the men to use to get back to safety. The sailors were hampered by heavy boots and clothes and not all of them could swim, so at least 205 were drowned. The next day the women went down to the shore to find the bodies of their men washed up on the strand. The wreck has been attributed to poor navigation.