Listed Building

The only legal part of the listing 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.

BEN REUVAL, OUR LADY OF THE ISLES STATUELB50888

Status: Designated

Documents

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Summary

Category
B
Date Added
23/05/2007
Local Authority
Na h-Eileanan Siar
Planning Authority
Na h-Eileanan Siar
Parish
South Uist
NGR
NF 77635 40740
Coordinates
77635, 840740

Description

Hew Lorimer, 1956. Prominently sited monumental white granite semi-naturalist style statue of Madonna holding standing Christ-child at shoulder height. Child with right hand raised in blessing, left hand resting lightly on Madonna's crowned head. Both figures elongated with simplified columnar robes. Significantly sited on raised ground in remote setting of grand isolation, within low stone enclosure at end of long straight stone path.

Statement of Special Interest

Consecrated on 15 August 1958 by Bishop Kenneth Grant, the statue of Our Lady of The Isles is an outstanding example of Hew Lorimer's craft. His characteristic semi-naturalist style is more readily recognised in the stylised, columnar figures carved into the façade of the National Library in Edinburgh (listed separately), but in this rugged isolated terrain, the Madonna soars above the landscape and can be seen from great distances. A smaller version of this statue is located to the north of St Michael's Church, Ardkenneth, South Uist (listed separately), and a small bronze version was cast in 1972.

Hew Lorimer (1907-1993), second son of Scottish architect Sir Robert Lorimer, spent his early years in the studio of Catholic sculptor Eric Gill. Hew Lorimer's work is spread across Scotland, from Dundee, Tayport, St Andrews and Pittenweem, to Kippen Parish Church, the Castle of Mey, Fasnakyle Power Station and Pollok House in Glasgow. In 1996 The Hew Lorimer Trust was set up by Vincent Logan, Bishop of the Diocese of Dunkeld, in recognition of the importance of his contribution to Scottish sculpture. The 'Our Lady of The Isles' statue on South Uist is possibly Hew Lorimer's most famous sculpture. Unlike the comparable allegorical figures of 'Medicine, Science, History, Poetry, Law, Theology and Music' at Edinburgh's National Library, the South Uist statue is unusual for its isolated position and independent architectural qualities, rather than assuming a supportive or decorative role to a more substantial structure.

Current research by Fiona Pearson at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art has led to the understanding that this iconic statue is arguably the most famous and best of Lorimer's work. It was inspired by the Antoine Bourdelle, Vierge d'Alsace in the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art.

References

Bibliography

John Gifford The Buildings of Scotland Highlands and Islands (2003), pp597 and 625. Information courtesy of RC Diocese of Argyll and The Isles and Fiona Pearson, Senior Curator, Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art. www.ntseducation.org.uk www.ltscotland.org.uk/nq/resources/RSAscottishart.

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. 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 www.historicenvironment.scot/advice-and-support. You can contact us on 0131 668 8914 or at designations@hes.scot.

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