Listed Building

The only legal part of the listing under the Planning (Listing Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997 is the address/name of site. Addresses and building names may have changed since the date of listing – see 'About Listed Buildings' below for more information. The further details below the 'Address/Name of Site' are provided for information purposes only.

Address/Name of Site


Status: Designated


There are no additional online documents for this record.


Date Added
Local Authority
Na h-Eileanan Siar
Planning Authority
Na h-Eileanan Siar
NB 42009 33175
142009, 933175


Designed by Charles Wilson (1810-63), architect in Glasgow. Castellated mansion house, built for Sir James Matheson (1796-18789 who acquired Lewis in 1844. Begun building c. 1848, completed 1860 (ie after Wilson's death). Stylistically in the manner of houses such as Toward (1821) by David Hamilton (in whose office Wilson had trained); picturesquely-massed skyline, towers and turrets (the tallest at Lews being 102 feet), deep advance/recess of wall-planes, hood-moulded single, mullioned and/or transomed windows and crenellated wall-heads. Mostly 2/3 storeys; low service ranges. Built of local rubble - squared and pinned in areas - with imported contrasting yellow ashlar dressings; concealed roofs, mostly low-piched and slated; sash windows. East-gacing, looking towards the town. That elevation is 2-storeyed at the centre, taller towers project asymmetrically on either side, fenestration indicates that main public rooms occupy ground floor. Main entrance is set back on right hand (ie north) flank, porch-cochere set against shallow-projecting 4-storeyed tower. On low range at south, sculptured detail (grotesques, etc) are set beneath parapet; an enormous glass house (winter garden/fernery) which adjoined was demolished in recent years (illus in Grigor, MIGHTIER THAN A LORD p24). Enclosed service court at rear with belfry; tall brick stack (?Garrabost brick) may have related to heating system of glass house. Interior not inspected during 1989 resurvey.



Groome, GAZETTEER VOL VI, pp 400-401; James Shaw Grant, DISCOVERING LEWS AND HARRIS 1987, chapter 4 and passim.

About Listed Buildings

Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for designating sites and places at the national level. These designations are Scheduled monuments, Listed buildings, Inventory of gardens and designed landscapes and Inventory of historic battlefields.

We make recommendations to the Scottish Government about historic marine protected areas, and the Scottish Ministers decide whether to designate.

Listing is the process that identifies, designates and provides statutory protection for buildings of special architectural or historic interest as set out in the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997.

We list buildings which are found to be of special architectural or historic interest using the selection guidance published in Designation Policy and Selection Guidance (2019)

Listed building records provide an indication of the special architectural or historic interest of the listed building which has been identified by its statutory address. The description and additional information provided are supplementary and have no legal weight.

These records are not definitive historical accounts or a complete description of the building(s). If part of a building is not described it does not mean it is not listed. The format of the listed building record has changed over time. Earlier records may be brief and some information will not have been recorded.

The legal part of the listing is the address/name of site which is known as the statutory address. Other than the name or address of a listed building, further details are provided for information purposes only. Historic Environment Scotland does not accept any liability for any loss or damage suffered as a consequence of inaccuracies in the information provided. Addresses and building names may have changed since the date of listing. Even if a number or name is missing from a listing address it will still be listed. Listing covers both the exterior and the interior and any object or structure fixed to the building. Listing also applies to buildings or structures not physically attached but which are part of the curtilage (or land) of the listed building as long as they were erected before 1 July 1948.

While Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for designating listed buildings, the planning authority is responsible for determining what is covered by the listing, including what is listed through curtilage. However, for listed buildings designated or for listings amended from 1 October 2015, legal exclusions to the listing may apply.

If part of a building is not listed, it will say that it is excluded in the statutory address and in the statement of special interest in the listed building record. The statement will use the word 'excluding' and quote the relevant section of the 1997 Act. Some earlier listed building records may use the word 'excluding', but if the Act is not quoted, the record has not been revised to reflect subsequent legislation.

Listed building consent is required for changes to a listed building which affect its character as a building of special architectural or historic interest. The relevant planning authority is the point of contact for applications for listed building consent.

Find out more about listing and our other designations at You can contact us on 0131 668 8914 or at


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Printed: 02/12/2023 19:15