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.

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

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4.4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Neal Ingram (2 years ago)
amazing building with excellent facilities. you have to see the hallway ceiling!
Sohana Mckenzie (2 years ago)
Great place to walk the dog and him in doors, highly recommend a visit
Paul Broadwith (2 years ago)
I'm not sure what to say about this place. 15 minutes to get a coffee (no queue - they give you a table numbers and your sit and wait after posting) is ridiculous. Lots of staff. No idea what they're doing. Castle is nice but coffee shop is very out of place in it - very modern and clinical. If you can go somewhere else for coffee (like the Woodlands, but they don't bother opening on a Sunday) then do that.
Jennifer Mcdonald (3 years ago)
Excellent accommodation with high end finished and appliances. Beautiful grounds and Castle was definitely the right choice. Lovely welcome hamper on arrival. Would highly recommend if you plan on a break to Lewis. Great base to see Harris , Lewis and bernera
Alan Stevenson (3 years ago)
Excellent, I remember Lews Castle when it was derelict 15 years ago, it is now a fantastic museum, events facility and restaurant. It also offers accommodation. 14 million pounds well spent. The museum covers the the islands history and culture and has a half dozen of the original Lewis chess men on display. There are also some very good walks around the grounds with great views over Stornoway harbour.
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