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


Sy 1964

See if you can recognise anyone in this 13 minute colour film of Stornoway taken in 1964 by a visitor during Carnival Week Look out for some of of our public lecture films too on our You Tube channel. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H2b-DhNUD2g © Ken Holgate. Used...

read more



HMY Iolaire Photograph Appeal

HMY Iolaire Photograph Appeal

  HMY IOLAIRE PHOTOGRAPH APPEAL A new book about the Iolaire disaster is to be published by Acair in Autumn 2018 at the start of a series of events commemorating¬† the centenary of the loss of the Admiralty yacht with over 200 sailors near Stornoway harbour on New...

read more