The Lewis Coastal Chapel-sites Survey (LCCS)

The Lewis Coastal Chapel-sites Survey (LCCS)

Teampall Eoin Bragar

This project was set up in 2004 to record the archaeology of the coastal chapel-sites in Lewis. Due to a scarcity of surviving contemporary historical documentation relating to Lewis in the medieval period, archaeology has great potential to further investigate these fascinating and diverse sites. Initial research linked together previous antiquarian and local historical research, local guidebooks and research by local history societies and other groups. Teampall pheadair swainbostWalkover 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 associated with old settlements, or traditionally linked with other chapel sites nearby, others alone and isolated. The chapels themselves ranged from upstanding buildings still used for worship, to low grassy banks only just discernable beneath the turf or un-located and kept alive only in oral tradition. The third and final year of fieldwork targeted topographic and geophysical survey on two sites, Teampall Eoin in Bragar, and Teampall Pheadair in Siadar, both on the west coast of Lewis. The project has now moved to the publication stage, and the results have been used to inform local guides on the early Christianity of Ness.‌