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Lews Castle Tower, Lady Lever Park, Stornoway

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Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved. © Copyright and database right 2019.

General Details and Location

Category
AT RISK
Name of Building
Lews Castle Tower
Other Name(s)
Christy's Lodge; Lewis Castle Tower
Address
Lady Lever Park, Stornoway
Locality
Postcode
Planning Authority
Divisional Area
Reference No
412
Listing Category
A
OS Grid Ref
NB 42256 33187
Location Type
Urban
HS Reference No
19206

Description

2 storey dummy tower house, rubble-built on a square plan into the north section of the boundary walls of Lews Castle which now form the walls to Stornoway Harbour. The tower features a crenellated parapet, rock-faced raised quoins, and an entrance in the left bay of its west elevation. A modern timber slated addition sits on the roof. (Historic Scotland) The tower is locally referred to as Christy's Lodge.
Building Dates
Mid 19th century
Architects
Charles Wilson(?)

Category of Risk and Development History

Condition
Fair
Category of Risk
Moderate
Exemptions to State of Risk
Field Visits
August 2000, May 2004, 02/02/2009, 12/6/2015
Development History
1923: Lews Castle and its policies are presented to the Stornoway Trust by Lord Leverhulme, after purchase in 1918. In the 1950s they are transferred to local authority control and the grounds are opened to the public as the Lady Lever Park. August 1997: The castle grounds are assessed by the Garden History Society, which intimates that they would almost certainly be included in the revised Inventory of Gardens and Designed Landscapes in Scotland, currently being compiled. August 2000: External inspection reveals the tower to be disused and in need of repair, although all openings are secure and the structure remains wind and watertight. July 2003: Local planners report that the tower remains unused and at risk. It was last used as a meeting place for the local sailing club. 11 September 2003: The Stornoway Gazette reports that buildings within Stornoway Outstanding Conservation Area are eligible for up to 50% grant assistance to help with their restoration using traditional materials and building skills. Possible grant applications can be discussed with local planners.
February 2009: External inspection finds that the roof structure is in poor condition and the building is subject to tidal action. Windows and doors are boarded over and there is evidence of water penetration through cracks in the masonry.It is understood that alternative uses for the structure are being considered but options are felt to be limited due the small footprint and an internal stair. Considered uses include view-point, observatory, public toilet, self-catering accomodation.
March 2009: The Press and Journal reports several developers have expressed interest in plans to regenerate the Castle and policies.
March 2010: External inspection finds the tower in generally sound condition externally, the interior is reported to be deteriorating. BBC news website reports Lews Castle has secured a stage 1 pass of £240,000 with a potential £2.6m funding package towards conversion and restoration into a museum and archive with hospitality accomodation.
January 2011: BBC news website reports on a number of heritage projects having secured funding from the Scottish Government. Lews Castle is noted has securing £500,000.
7 May 2015: Listed Building Consent for repairs and replacement of the mansard roof is being sought ref: 15/00136/LBC. The application notes the building would be brought back into use as as an adjunct to the proposed adjacent woodland Centre/ play area.
12 June 2015: External inspection finds the building remains in much the same condition as seen previously.
7 December 2016: Listed Building Consent for external repairs and alterations is being sought ref: 16/00536/LB

Guides to Development

Conservation Area
Stornoway
Planning Authority Contact
PAC Telephone Number

Availability

Current Availability
Not Available
Appointed Agents
Price
Occupancy
Vacant
Occupancy Type
N/A
Present/Former Uses
Building Uses Information:
Present Use 1: N/A Former Use 1: Lodge
Present Use 2: N/A Former Use 2: N/A
Name of Owners
Western Isles Council
Type of Ownership
Local Authority

Information Services

Additional Contacts/Information Source
Lews Castle Trust Ltd, c/o Iain Macleod, Western Isles Council, Department for Sustainable Communities, Sandwick Road, Stornoway, Isle of Lewis HS1 2BW
Bibliography
Gifford (1992), p631; Grant (1987); Ritchie and Harman (1985), p67; Discovery and Excavation Scotland, (3), 2002, p123. The Western Seaboard an illustrated architectural guide, M.Miers (2008) p 277-279.
Online Resources
Lews Castle Trust: http://www.lews-castle.com
Classification
Ancillary Buildings
Original Entry Date
17-JUL-03
Date of Last Edit
13/10/2015