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Ancient Village / Settlement / Misc. Earthwork

<b>Bostadh</b>Posted by tomatomanImage © Alan Johnson
Also known as:
  • Great Bernera
  • Bosta

Nearest Town:Stornoway (30km E)
OS Ref (GB):   NB135401 / Sheet: 13
Latitude:58° 15' 22.55" N
Longitude:   6° 53' 6.05" W

Added by shacmh

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<b>Bostadh</b>Posted by tomatoman <b>Bostadh</b>Posted by tomatoman <b>Bostadh</b>Posted by shacmh


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I'm not saying Mr Rh and I are unsociable, but we do seem to tend to head for the emptiest reaches of beyond on holiday these days. And the beach at Bostadh does feel like quite a long way from anywhere. You need to leave the Scottish mainland for Skye, catch the ferry to Lewis, drive up north and over the bridge to the island of Great Bernera, then aim for the furthest tip of that. It should probably be called the Outer Outer Hebrides if you ask me.

I can promise you pale sand and properly blue water that wouldn't look out of place in the Caribbean (it's just a bit draughtier). It was nice to just sit and watch the local birdlife flying around and bobbing about. But if you walk to the back of the beach you'll spot a thatched mound, its roof held on by long ropes weighted with holed stones. It's a recreation of the houses that once stood here in the Iron Age - a number were revealed in the 1990s when a storm blew away some of the dunes.

You must cross a little moat (which unfortunately isn't putting off the rabbits who are eating the roof - they've got the sense to use the bridge like you do) and descend into the sheltered low doorway. Then ducking down (even I had to duck) you enter the house.

It's absolutely pitch black, and although you can hear a welcoming voice telling you all will come clear in a moment, and inviting you to sit just there (or somewhere thereabouts) - well it's just as though you've gone blind. But gradually your eyes adjust, and in the meantime you can listen to the superb soft Lewissian lilt of the lovely and knowledgeable woman who is the house's curator. Eventually you'll believe her that it's even possible to read a book in this dim light.

I thought I might like to live in a house like this, cosily out of the draught, with my strongly-scented peat fire burning, doing a bit of weaving.

I thoroughly recommend you visit, it feels like time travel.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
16th August 2017ce

Archeological items of interest on the island of Great Bernera (Bearnaraigh) are the standing stones at Cleitir beside the bridge, the remains of the broch on Loch Bharabhat and the remains of iron age houses at Bostadh. The last on was uncovered by erosion of the sand dunes exposing the site. A reconstructed house is nearby and is well worth looking at. Posted by gus
17th July 2002ce


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Despite the fact that there are inaminate rocks and stones of passing interest to some, the human stories are far more interesting. It was just off Bostadh at an island called Beirisadh that Niall the last chief of the Macleods of Lewis made his last stand against the Scottish Crown. Niall Macleod also had a part in the sinking of the pirate Peter Love's ship Priam in 1610. The remains of the ship and its treasure taken from an English merchantman is not precisely known but is thought to be between Circebost harbour and Bostadh. Posted by gus
17th July 2002ce