Outer Hebrides’ favourite buildings to mark Festival of Architecture 2016

Boatman's House, Stornoway, Isle of Lewis
Boatman’s House, Stornoway, Isle of Lewis

An initiative which aims to celebrate architecture in the Outer Hebrides has uncovered what locals regard as their three favourite buildings in the islands.

From modern architecture to 17th Century ruins, arts centre An Lanntair and The Western Isles Architects Group asked people to take a look at the architecture that surrounds them.

Over 500 people voted for their favourite building and photographer (and former Buzzcocks drummer) John Maher has been documenting the shortlisted buildings and other architectural gems for the Building Our Islands project.

Clock Tower, Nicolson Institute, Stornoway, Isle of Lewis
Clock Tower, Nicolson Institute, Stornoway, Isle of Lewis

The ‘winners’ are:

- The Boatman’s Tower, Stornoway Isle of Lewis - Built in the grounds of Charles Wilson’s Tudor Gothic Lews Castle (1847-51). The boatman ferried people to Stornoway and the boatman’s tower housed his family.

- Nicolson Institute Clock Tower, Stornoway, Isle of Lewis (1873). An Italianate tower is all that survives of the elementary and infant schools on Sandwick Road, demolished amidst much controversy and replaced by a Sports Centre in 1975.

- Store Girnal, Rodel, Isle of Harris (18th century) tin roofed structure perched above the harbour. The rear enclosure, with thick, buttressed walls, suggests an earlier building, possibly that for which local blacksmith John Morrison was paid for ‘dressing the locks and bonds of Macleod’s keeping house and girnels at Roudill’ in 1708.

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