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Celebration of Stornoway Ironwork

2 May 2008

One of the best remaining examples of Scotland’s decorative cast ironwork is celebrated in a new book published by Historic Scotland.

Scotland’s Hidden Gem - Architectural Ironwork in Stornoway explains why the Island’s collection is so important and is the first Historic Scotland conservation publication to be available in Gaelic and English.

Minister for Europe, External Affairs and Culture Linda Fabiani MSP said: “Scotland used to be a leading exporter of ironwork and Stornoway is a great example of how streets across the country looked before the war effort saw iron removed. It is wonderful to see these designs intact and how much pride the community takes in them.

“I am also delighted that the book recording this craftsmanship is available in both Gaelic and English to reach as many people as possible and properly represent our shared culture.”

Following the exhibition Architectural Ironwork of Stornoway which is running in Museum nan Eilean until the end of the year, the book will be launched in collaboration with The Islands Book Trust and Comhairle nan Eilean Siar on May 3rd at An Lanntair, Stornoway.

John Randall, Chairman of The Islands Book Trust who are co-hosting the book launch, said: '' I am very pleased that Historic Scotland have produced this new book about Stornoway's historic architectural ironwork. The book launch follows a successful event last week when Ali Davey, one of the authors, gave an illustrated talk about the subject to a Book Trust meeting. This special feature of Stornoway deserves to be better known, and the new book will further increase awareness of this important part of the town's heritage.''

The book will illustrate in full colour the wonderful diversity of ironwork to be found in Stornoway. It will provide some history and background to the many names you can find hidden under years of paint.

Comhairle nan Eilean Siar Convener Alex MacDonald said:
“The cast ironwork in the Isle of Lewis capital is among the largest and best maintained examples in the country. As an island community, Stornoway did not lose its ironwork to the war effort and it retained its Victorian and Edwardian ironwork which had been made by world famous ironfounders, predominantly in Glasgow. This has left us with another asset in the rich culture and heritage of the islands.

“Raising awareness of the islands’ heritage assets is important in increasing the attractiveness of the islands’ as a place to visit and the ironwork featured in this book is an important and very welcome, part of the wealth of our Island heritage. I am delighted that this book will help to spread what is a fascinating story”.

The launch day will consist of a walking tour starting from Museum nan Eilean at 3.30pm looking at the ironwork around the town, followed by the launch and reception at 4.30pm.

Notes for editors
1.Historic Scotland is an executive agency of the Scottish Government charged with safeguarding the nation’s historic environment. The agency is fully accountable to Scottish Ministers and through them to the Scottish Parliament.

2.Register for media release email alerts from If you wish to unsubscribe at any time, please email  or telephone on 0131 668 8603

3.For further details of the Islands Book Trust see or phone John Randall on 01851 880365

For further information

Lesley Brown
Communications and Media Officer
Communications and Media
0131 668 8603 or 07788 923873