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Scotland Unveils Beautiful Restoration of Lews Castle

Created: 14/03/2017

A restoration of the iconic Lews castle has been unveiled by Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

Scotland Lews Castle Restoration

A £19.5 million restoration of the famous Lews Castle museum and hotel, located in Outer Hebridean, has now been restored back to its former glory – as presented by Scotland’s First Minister.

Sturgeon said about the undertaking, “The restoration has clearly been done lovingly and to the most incredible standard.

“The museum and archive is hugely impressive,” she added, going to say that it was “the first Gaelic-led museum anywhere”.

The castle which is home to six of the famous Lewis Chessman – the chess pieces used in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. They were found in 1831 and have since become the world’s most famous chess pieces.

Loaned to the castle by the British Museum, these 12th century ivory figures have an unknown origin, only adding to the mystique around the castle which has been closed for 25 years.

Chairman of the British Museum, Sir Richard Lambert, spoke of the “magical qualities” of fascinating objects and that they were “a window into the medieval world”.

He then added, “We cannot say they are coming home – because we don’t know where that is – but they are coming to a place that’s taken them to its heart and that’s wonderful.”

Harry potter chess pieces

The impressive restoration was achieved through a joint venture by the Heritage Lottery Fund, Historic Scotland, the Scottish government, European Regional Development Fund, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and Gaelic language organisation Bord na Gaidhlig.

The restored castle can now enjoy the state-of-the-art museum which also contains within it a restaurant, accommodation and other facilities.

Lews castle was initially constructed back in 1847 for James Matheson – an opium baron.

Undertakings such as this can be complicated, so it’s wonderful to see an old and historic building brought back to its former glory so smoothly.

When working on substantial projects of this nature it is vitally important to be prepared and considerate of existing structures. So when undergoing restorations of your own, make sure to first consult your local handyman service.


Image Credit: David Maclennan  Levan Ramishvili

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