Listed Building

The legal part of the listing is the address/name of site only. All other information in the record is not statutory.


Status: Designated


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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

Listing is the way that a building or structure of special architectural or historic interest is recognised by law through the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997.

We list buildings of special architectural or historic interest using the criteria published in the Historic Environment Scotland Policy Statement.

The statutory listing address is the legal part of the listing. The information in the listed building record gives an indication of the special architectural or historic interest of the listed building(s). It is not a definitive historical account or a complete description of the building(s). The format of the listed building record has changed over time. Earlier records may be brief and some information will not have been recorded.

Listing covers both the exterior and the interior. Listing can cover structures not mentioned which are part of the curtilage of the building, such as boundary walls, gates, gatepiers, ancillary buildings etc. The planning authority is responsible for advising on what is covered by the listing including the curtilage of a listed building. For information about curtilage see Since 1 October 2015 we have been able to exclude items from a listing. 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 Historic Environment Scotland Act 2014. 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 current legislation.

If you want to alter, extend or demolish a listed building you need to contact your planning authority to see if you need listed building consent. The planning authority is the main point of contact for all applications for listed building consent.

Find out more about listing and our other designations at You can contact us on 0131 668 8716 or at


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