Lewis an Harris

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Lewis an Harris (Scots Gaelic: Leòdhas agus na Hearadh) is an iland at the northren end o the Ooter Hebrides o Scotland. It is the mukkilest iland o Scotland an the thrid mukkilest iland in the Breetish Isles (eftir Gret Breetain an Ireland).

Name[eedit | eedit soorce]

The northren bit o the iland is caw'd Lewis (Leòdhas) or Isle o Lewis (Eilean Leòdhais) an the soothren bit is caw'd Harris (Na Hearadh) or Isle o Harris (Eilean na Hearadh). In a cultural or poetic context the name Eilean an Fhraoich ("The Hether Isle") is broukit ti refer ti the hail iland.[1]

The name Lewis/Leòdhas micht cum frae the Auld Norse Ljoðahús ("sang houss"),[1] awtho ither springheids hae been suggested—maist merkit the Gaelic leogach ("mossie").[2] It is lyklie the steid caw'd Limnu bi Ptolemy, whilk meins "mossie" tae.[3]

The name Harris/Na Hearadh is thocht ti cum frae the Auld Norse Hérað, whilk is a kyn o administrative destrik.[4] Anither springheid cud be the Auld Norse Haerri, meinin "hiecher" – a referenss ti it haein mukkil mair hills nor Lewis.[5] Harris is maist lyklie ti be the iland caw'd Adru (meinin thick, stuir or bouksum) bi Ptolemy.

On Sgaoth Aird, luikin north til Clisham
Stornowa frae the wast
Loch Claidh
Taransay (middil) frae Cleiseabhal

As the iland disna hae a common name in Inglis it is kent as 'Lewis an Harris', 'Lewis wi Harris', 'Harris wi Lewis', asf.[6]

Geografie[eedit | eedit soorce]

Awtho it is ane iland, locals aften treat Lewis an Harris as twa. The mairch atwein Lewis an Harris rins frae Loch Resort (fornent Scarp) in the wast til Loch Seaforth in the aest.

Harris is the wee-er o the twa bits. It is 24 mile (39 km) frae the naurest pynt o mainland Scotland, frae whilk it is sindert bi the Minch. Maist o Harris is gey hill-run, wi mair nor thritie peaks abuin 1000 fuit (300 m) hie an seivin muntains clesst as Corbetts.[7] Clisham (An Cliseam), wi a heicht o 799 m, is the heichest muntain on Lewis an Harris an is the heichest muntain in the Ooter Hebrides.[8][9]

Lewis is the mukkiler o the twa. Hit is comparativlie plat, save in the sooth-aest (whaur Ben More rises ti 1874 ft/571 m) an in the sooth-wast (whaur Mealasbhal, at 1885 ft/575 m, is the heichest pynt).

Till 1975, Lewis belang'd ti the coontie o Ross an Cromarty an Harris ti Inverness-shire. The hail iland nou belangs ti Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, the coonsil for the Wastren Isles.

Touns[eedit | eedit soorce]

The main toun on Lewis an Harris is Stornowa (Steòrnabhagh), whilk ligs on the aest coast o Lewis. It haes aboot 9,000 indwallers, makin it the mukkilest toun in the Wastren Isles (wi a thrid o its population) an the thrid mukkilest toun in the Hielands eftir Innerness an Fort Wulliam.

The main settilment in Harris is Tarbert, whilk ligs on a naira isthmus atwein north an sooth Harris. Hit haes aboot 500 indwallers.

Lochs[eedit | eedit soorce]

The iland haes monie lochs; baith freshwattir lochs an sie lochs. Gaun clokweys frae Stornowa, the main sie lochs ar Loch Erisort an Loch Sealg (in the aest), Loch Claidh, Loch Seaforth, Aest Loch Tarbert an Wast Loch Tarbert (in the sooth), Loch Resort an Loch Roag (in the wast).

Maist o the freshwattir lochs lig in the soothren hauf o the iland. The mukkilest o thir ar Loch Langavat (the mukkilest), Loch Grunavat, Loch Suainaval, Loch Breibhat, Loch Urghag, Loch Mor Bharabhais, Loch Benisval an Loch Langabhat.

Ither ilands[eedit | eedit soorce]

Ither naurby ilands that ar pairt o the Lewis an Harris group include (frae mukkilest ti wee-est) Bernera (Beàrnaraigh), Taransay (Tarasaigh), Scarp (An Sgarp) an Scalpay (Sgalpaigh). Taransay an Scarp ar nou tuim o fowk.

Til the aest o Stornowa ligs the mukkil hauf-iland kent as "The Point" (An Rubha) or the "Eye Peninsula". It is jyn'd til Lewis bi a naira isthmus anerlie a hunder meter braid.

Transport[eedit | eedit soorce]

Stornowa Airport
MV Isle of Lewis

A dailie Caledonian MacBrayne ferrie (the MV Isle of Lewis) sails frae Stornowa til Ullapuil on the Scots mainland, takin 2 oors 40 meinits ti mak the vaige. Thar ar aboot twa retour crossins a day, wi mair in the simmer an less in the winter. As ferrie traffec haes eikit, a seicont ship (the MV Muirneag) nou sails anss a day in the aerlie mornin ti cairie maist o the fraucht larries.

The MV Hebrides sails atwein Harris an Uig (on Skye) whyls the MV Loch Portain sails atwein Harris an the iland o Berneray.

Stornowa Airport is 2 mile awa frae the toun itsel an is neist the veilage o Melbost. Frae here thar is flauchts ti Aiberdeen, Benbecula, Edinburgh, Innerness an Glesga. The airport is the base o a HM Coastguard Search & Rescue Sikorsky S-92 helicopter, an wis the umwhyl hame ti RAF Stornowa.

Stornowa haes bus serviss links ti Point, Ness, Back an Tolsta, Uig, the West Side, Lochs an Tarbert.

Langage[eedit | eedit soorce]

Scots Gaelic is the main leid spak on the iland, wi at least 60% o fowk bein abil ti speak it. Lewis haes the pairish wi Scotland’s heichest percentage o Scots Gaelic speakers: Barvas (Barabhas) wi 74.7% Gaelic speakers.

Referenses[eedit | eedit soorce]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Iain Mac an Tailleir. "Placenames" (PDF). Pàrlamaid na h-Alba. Retrieved 2007-07-23. 
  2. Murray, W.H. (1966) The Hebrides. London. Heinemann. p. 173.
  3. Roman Map of Britain
  4. Placenames collected by Iain Mac an Tailleir (pdf)
  5. Dictionary of Scottish Place-Names, David Ross (Birlinn)
  6. Thompson, Francis (1968). Harris and Lewis, Outer Hebrides. Newton Abbot: David & Charles. ISBN 0715342606. 
  7. Johnstone et al (1990) pp. 240-43
  8. Rotary Club (1995) p. 124
  9. Johnstone et al (1990) p. 240