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Western Isles Archaeology Service

Comhairle nan Eilean Siar’s Archaeology Service provides information and advice for development planning in the Outer Hebrides. It monitors archaeological sites and advises on the conservation and management of the archaeological resource in the Outer Hebrides, including issues related to the impacts of climate change and coastal erosion.

The service also works to promote the historic environment by supporting academic organisations, community groups and individuals who are involved in archaeological research.  Archaeological and heritage policy advice of local, regional and national relevance is provided, and the service represents the Comhairle as a member of ALGAO Scotland (Association of Local Government Archaeological Officers). The service also monitors all archaeological work happening in the islands and aims to ensure that this is done to current standards and that the results are made available to the public.

Historic Environment Record

The Western Isles Archaeology Service curates the Historic Environment Record (HER).  The HER contains over 13,000 sites and demonstrates the vast resource of archaeological and other historic sites and monuments found throughout the Outer Hebrides.  This record includes all designated archaeological sites and buildings and it is continually updated.

You can access and search the HER by clicking here.

Overview of our archaeology

The earliest archaeological remains in the Outer Hebrides date back to the Mesolithic period (c.7000BC).  However, the Neolithic, Bronze and Iron Age periods are better represented by sites such as stone circles, settlements, burial monuments and brochs to name but a few; notable examples being Calanais, Dun Carloway, Barpa Langais and Dun Sgurabhal.  From the early medieval period through to the recent past of the 18th and 19th centuries there are numerous sites ranging from churches and castles to field systems.  Finally, there are also the structures from more modern times, such as airfields and gun emplacements and other structures relating to the 1st and 2nd World Wars and even the Cold War. 

For further information contact:

Kevin Murphy – CnES Archaeologist

6 Kenneth Street
Isle of Lewis
Tel: 01851 822758
email: kevin.murphy@cne-siar.gov.uk

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