Lews Castle was built in the years 1847-1857 as a country house for Sir James Matheson who had bought the whole island a few years previously with his fortune from the Chinese Opium trade. It was designed by the Glasgow architect Charles Wilson.

In 1918, the Lewis estate including the castle was bought by industrialist Lord Leverhulme from the Matheson family. He gave the castle to the people of Stornoway parish in 1923.

During World War II the Castle was taken over as accommodation for air and ground crew of 700 Naval Air Squadron, who operated a detachment of six Supermarine Walrus aircraft from a slipway at Cuddy Point in the Grounds. The base was referred to as HMS Mentor.

After the war, the Castle was also used for accommodation for students of Lews Castle College in the 1950s.

References:

Comments

Your name



Details

Founded: 1847-1857
Category: Castles and fortifications in United Kingdom

Rating

4.4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Matt Dale (8 months ago)
Closed since March 2020 due to COVID. Very beautiful especially in the sunshine. Nice park to walk a dog in but must be kept on lead. The best view of the castle in my opinion is from the other side of the harbour (also where I saw a seal
jamie dooley (8 months ago)
Would love inside it
Ms Janice Lewis ש (10 months ago)
Lewis legends Family Project looks forward to our visit with you this month. An awesome location. A Lewis family is project
Joseph Markey (10 months ago)
Wonderful place, the grounds are amazing, a must have walk
Sharon Clark (2 years ago)
Only visited grounds and cafe. Lovely to cycle round. Food very nice choices.
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Angelokastro

Angelokastro is a Byzantine castle on the island of Corfu. It is located at the top of the highest peak of the island"s shoreline in the northwest coast near Palaiokastritsa and built on particularly precipitous and rocky terrain. It stands 305 m on a steep cliff above the sea and surveys the City of Corfu and the mountains of mainland Greece to the southeast and a wide area of Corfu toward the northeast and northwest.

Angelokastro is one of the most important fortified complexes of Corfu. It was an acropolis which surveyed the region all the way to the southern Adriatic and presented a formidable strategic vantage point to the occupant of the castle.

Angelokastro formed a defensive triangle with the castles of Gardiki and Kassiopi, which covered Corfu"s defences to the south, northwest and northeast.

The castle never fell, despite frequent sieges and attempts at conquering it through the centuries, and played a decisive role in defending the island against pirate incursions and during three sieges of Corfu by the Ottomans, significantly contributing to their defeat.

During invasions it helped shelter the local peasant population. The villagers also fought against the invaders playing an active role in the defence of the castle.

The exact period of the building of the castle is not known, but it has often been attributed to the reigns of Michael I Komnenos and his son Michael II Komnenos. The first documentary evidence for the fortress dates to 1272, when Giordano di San Felice took possession of it for Charles of Anjou, who had seized Corfu from Manfred, King of Sicily in 1267.

From 1387 to the end of the 16th century, Angelokastro was the official capital of Corfu and the seat of the Provveditore Generale del Levante, governor of the Ionian islands and commander of the Venetian fleet, which was stationed in Corfu.

The governor of the castle (the castellan) was normally appointed by the City council of Corfu and was chosen amongst the noblemen of the island.

Angelokastro is considered one of the most imposing architectural remains in the Ionian Islands.