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


Work of the herring girls

Work of the herring girls Girls at their first year at the gutting were called cÚibhlearan or coilers. They were paid less than the older girls due to their slowness and inexperience. They had to learn quickly. By the following season they would be fully proficient in...

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SHS Exhibition

The Society's premises will continue to be open to visitors, each Wednesday 2-4 pm, over the autumn and winter months starting 4th October. We are located on the ground floor of the Town Hall in the former offices of the Harris Tweed Authority at 2 Cromwell St.

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