Fàilte! (Welcome!)

Fàilte! (Welcome!)
This blog is the result of my ongoing research into the people, places and events that have shaped the Western Isles of Scotland and, in particular, the 'Siamese-twins' of Harris and Lewis.
My interest stems from the fact that my Grandfather was a Stornowegian and, until about four years ago, that was the sum total of my knowledge, both of him and of the land of his birth.
I cannot guarantee the accuracy of everything that I have written (not least because parts are, perhaps, pioneering) but I have done my best to check for any errors.
My family mainly lived along the shore of the Sound of Harris, from An-t-Ob and Srannda to Roghadal, but one family 'moved' to Direcleit in the Baighs...

©Copyright 2011 Peter Kerr All rights reserved

Thursday, 25 March 2010

Rope Making in Stornoway

I had begun to look at those people with an association to the Rope Making industry but got side-tracked into wondering whereabouts in the town they would have been working.

A couple of online pals came to my aid and what follows is a distillation of what's been discovered thus far:

The OS 10,560 map of 1851 (the product of the Royal Miners and Sappers identified earlier) shows three features relating to Rope Making.

An open Rope Walk, running roughly North to South at the Northeastern Corner of the present-day Golf club. From its Southern end (near the much later Lodge) a short walk across a wooden bridge would have taken us onto a track leading to the second feature.

A Ropery, comprising a long, thin line of buildings running roughly West to East from the vicinity of the Butchers Shop near the Co-Op to Westview Terrace. A few paces beyond the far end of this we find the final feature.

The Rope Work House, situated at the point where the Ropery track abutts Westview Terrace, is still shown on the OS 10,560 map of 1960. By this time,however, all that remains of the Ropery is a thin line that follows its alignment whilst the straight line of Rope Walk is all but lost within a meandering path.

Update: Pigot's 1837 Directory informs us that there were two 'Rope-works' in the town and lists two men, Alexander and Donald Morison, as 'Rope and Twine Makers'.


  1. Which Lodge do you refer to in para 4 (starting "An open Rope Walk...")?

  2. The building labelled the 'Lodge' on the 1960 map is the stone-built arched entrance to the grounds at the entrance from the Co-Op roundabout.

    Hope that helps!

  3. Ah, the Porters Lodge. Thanks very much!