Welcome to Stornoway Historical Society and to our website

We hope you enjoy browsing through the features and gallery whether you’re a real SY or just interested in the town and island. If you have any memories you could send us, questions you think we could help with, please contact us. You might even be able to correct us if we’ve got something wrong!

In Stornoway parlance “haoidh coves and blones – any yarns down the vile?”

The Name Stornoway

The name Stornoway (Scottish Gaelic-‘Steornabhagh’) derives from ‘Sjornavagr’, the Old Norse for ‘steering bay’. Stornoway has been settled since at least Viking times although there is archaeological evidence of Neolithic activity in the near vicinity of the town.

Stornoway 1964


The Early Medical Men of Lewis 1700-1918

The Early Medical Men of Lewis 1700-1918 Few if any surviving historical records recall the names of the individuals who once administered to the medical needs of Lewis folk prior to the beginning of the 18th century. It is only from about 1700 onward that names and...

read more


2018 AGM & Lecture

The AGM of the Stornoway Historical Society will be held on Monday 26th March 2018 at 6.30 pm in the Council Chambers, Sandwick Rd. This will be immediately followed by the fifth and final public lecture of the current Winter Season at 7.00 pm. Our guest speakers will...

read more