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TITLE
Gress Memorial, Isle of Lewis
EXTERNAL ID
PC_BRANLEY_RAIDERS_GRESS_1
PLACENAME
Gress
DISTRICT
Lewis
OLD COUNTY/PARISH
ROSS: Uig
DATE OF IMAGE
4 April 2010
PERIOD
2010s
CREATOR
Stephen Branley
SOURCE
Stephen Branley
ASSET ID
21992
KEYWORDS
memorials
monuments
land wars
crofters wars
Gress Memorial, Isle of Lewis

The site selected was a flat sandy area by the river Gress below a main road and adjacent to the Tolsta bridge. The bridge was the focus of the conflict of 1919 between the landowner, Lord Leverhume and the ex-servicemen.

After their return from the horrors of World War I, ex-servicemen were denied crofting land promised by the government. Their condition increased the tensions within the community and highlighted the problems of land usage.

In March 1919, some of the biggest land raids took place at the farms of Gress & Upper Coll. Land raiding continued throughout Lewis until 1921. The government eventually kept their promise and the people won the right to the land.


Design

The design for this site at Gress posed very different problems from the other two and required more discussion with the local committee and several amendments were made to the original design. The central structure is symbolic of Lord Leverhulme's attempt to fracture the crofting community, the earth works represent the form of trenches and waves, symbols of pledges given to the ex-servicemen that they would be settled on the land after World War I.

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Gress Memorial, Isle of Lewis

ROSS: Uig

2010s

memorials; monuments; land wars; crofters wars

Stephen Branley

Isle of Lewis photographs by Stephen Branley

The site selected was a flat sandy area by the river Gress below a main road and adjacent to the Tolsta bridge. The bridge was the focus of the conflict of 1919 between the landowner, Lord Leverhume and the ex-servicemen.<br /> <br /> After their return from the horrors of World War I, ex-servicemen were denied crofting land promised by the government. Their condition increased the tensions within the community and highlighted the problems of land usage.<br /> <br /> In March 1919, some of the biggest land raids took place at the farms of Gress & Upper Coll. Land raiding continued throughout Lewis until 1921. The government eventually kept their promise and the people won the right to the land.<br /> <br /> <br /> Design<br /> <br /> The design for this site at Gress posed very different problems from the other two and required more discussion with the local committee and several amendments were made to the original design. The central structure is symbolic of Lord Leverhulme's attempt to fracture the crofting community, the earth works represent the form of trenches and waves, symbols of pledges given to the ex-servicemen that they would be settled on the land after World War I.