The Lewis Coastal Chapel-sites Survey (LCCS)

This project was set up in 2004 to record the archaeology of the coastal chapel-sites in Lewis. This was the first systematic archaeological survey to have been undertaken of this group of sites, and due to a scarcity of surviving contemporary historical documentation relating to Lewis in the medieval period, archaeology has great potential to shed light on them.

Teampall Eòin, Bragar, from the NE (from Barrowman 2020, Illus 29).

Initial research linked together previous antiquarian and local historical research, local guidebooks and research by local history societies and other groups. Walkover and targeted topographic surveys were then undertaken, and each site described on the ground. At the end of the first phase of work it was possible to assess the cultural and research potential of this remarkable group of sites, and to identify gaps where further work was needed. Over forty sites were identified, and the remains recorded at each site were varied: some were associated with old settlements, or traditionally linked with other chapel sites nearby, others were alone and isolated. The chapels themselves ranged from upstanding buildings still used for worship, to low grassy banks only just discernible beneath the turf or un-located and kept alive only in oral tradition. The results of the project are available in an open access publication which can be found here

The project has now moved to analysis of the results, due to be published in 2021.

Teampall Pheadair, Siadar, from the east (from Barrowman 2020, Illus 7).