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TITLE
Houses on Bernera (Great Bernera)
EXTERNAL ID
QZP99_94130_12_12
PLACENAME
Bernera
DISTRICT
Lewis
OLD COUNTY/PARISH
ROSS: Uig
SOURCE
Edinburgh and Scottish Collection, Edinburgh Central Library
ASSET ID
38737
KEYWORDS
Berneray
islands
settlements
crofters rights
bridges
Houses on Bernera (Great Bernera)

These houses are on Bernera (from the Norse:Bjorn's Isle), an island off the west coast of Lewis. It measures nearly six miles (9.5km) from north to south and about three miles (4.8km) from east to west. It has many lochans and rocky outcrops. It is a low-lying island with a highest point of just over 200 feet (61 metres). It is by far the largest of the many islands in Loch Roag (on the north-west side of Lewis) and is known for its machair and sandy beaches.

The main settlement, near the centre of the island, is Breacleit. Here there is a school, church, shop and post office. At the north end of Bernera is Bostadh where there are excavated remains of an Iron Age village which became exposed in the dunes during a severe storm in 1992. Also at Bostadh is a cairn, erected in 1992, to commemorate the participants in the Bernera riot of 1872 - the first occasion that crofters had taken a stand for their rights. The cairn is built with stones from every croft on the island, and topped by coping stones from the houses of the three ringleaders who stood trial.

At the start of the 1950s the 400 residents on Bernera were so keen to bridge the 150m gap between Bernera and Lewis that they threatened to build their own causeway by blowing-up the cliffs on either side. The authorities acceded to their wishes and a bridge was opened on 22 July 1953. A crowd of 4000 people then walked across the new bridge to Bernera. The bridge cost £70,000 and represents one of the earliest examples to be built in Britain from pre-stressed concrete girders


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Houses on Bernera (Great Bernera)

ROSS: Uig

Berneray; islands; settlements; crofters rights; bridges

Edinburgh and Scottish Collection, Edinburgh Central Library

I F Grant Photographic Archive

These houses are on Bernera (from the Norse:Bjorn's Isle), an island off the west coast of Lewis. It measures nearly six miles (9.5km) from north to south and about three miles (4.8km) from east to west. It has many lochans and rocky outcrops. It is a low-lying island with a highest point of just over 200 feet (61 metres). It is by far the largest of the many islands in Loch Roag (on the north-west side of Lewis) and is known for its machair and sandy beaches.<br /> <br /> The main settlement, near the centre of the island, is Breacleit. Here there is a school, church, shop and post office. At the north end of Bernera is Bostadh where there are excavated remains of an Iron Age village which became exposed in the dunes during a severe storm in 1992. Also at Bostadh is a cairn, erected in 1992, to commemorate the participants in the Bernera riot of 1872 - the first occasion that crofters had taken a stand for their rights. The cairn is built with stones from every croft on the island, and topped by coping stones from the houses of the three ringleaders who stood trial.<br /> <br /> At the start of the 1950s the 400 residents on Bernera were so keen to bridge the 150m gap between Bernera and Lewis that they threatened to build their own causeway by blowing-up the cliffs on either side. The authorities acceded to their wishes and a bridge was opened on 22 July 1953. A crowd of 4000 people then walked across the new bridge to Bernera. The bridge cost £70,000 and represents one of the earliest examples to be built in Britain from pre-stressed concrete girders <br /> <br /> <br /> This image can be purchased.<br /> For further information about purchasing and prices please email<br /> <a href="mailto: central.edsc.library@edinburgh.gov.uk">Edinburgh Central Library</a><br />