'Secret' stables discovered

By Iain MacSween Iain.MacSween@stornowaygazette.co.uk

An exciting discovery was made at the site of construction behind the old Lewis Hotel, off North Beach Street in Stornoway, last week.

Workers demolishing at the rear of the site unearthed an inner courtyard, complete with stables.

Living quarters were also found above the stables, with curtains still hanging from the window.

Local historian Norrie Macgregor was fascinated by the discovery.

He told the ‘Gazette’: “It’s certainly something that none of my generation ever knew about. The various owners of the hotel may have known about it, but it was completely hidden from view.”

Mr Macgregor said that the building was originally built not as a hotel, but as what was called a posting house.

“People used to keep and change their horses there, as it was before the times of motorised transport,” he commented.

“The building was put up in 1829, by John Mackenzie and Agnes Murray Reid.”

A council archaeologist was due to the visit the site of the find for examination, but despite its appeal, the discovery will still be demolished later this week.