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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User Reviews

Matt Dale (6 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 (6 months ago)
Would love inside it
Ms Janice Lewis ש (8 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 (8 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.
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The first historical record of Lednice locality dates from 1222. At that time there stood a Gothic fort with courtyard, which was lent by Czech King Václav I to Austrian nobleman Sigfried Sirotek in 1249.

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In the 16th century it was probably Hartmann II of Liechtenstein who had the old medieval water castle torn down and replaced with a Renaissance chateau. At the end of the 17th century the chateau was torn down and a Baroque palace was built, with an extensive formal garden, and a massive riding hall designed by Johann Bernard Fischer von Erlach that still stands in almost unaltered form.

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