Lews Castle and Museum

Evoking the past with a modern twist

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Project Overview

Client Comhairle nan Eilean Sair
Project Value £8.5m
Expertise Building
Sector Hospitality
Sector Heritage
Timeline August 2013 - January 2015
Location Scotland
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Project summary

Hailed as the “embodiment of heritage and modernity coming together”, Lews Castle is a RICS award-winning (Building Conservation) £8.5million redevelopment project of a Victorian Grade A listed visitor attraction.

Situated in the remote town of Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis, an intensive 76-week build programme brought the mid-nineteenth century Castle dramatically back to life through the repair and restoration of the historic, and intricate, interior supplemented by the construction of a new build museum, archive facility, shop and ancillary accommodation.

The detail

Evoking the spirit of its past but with a modern twist, the restoration of Lews Castle has returned this Stornoway centrepiece to its period splendour. Unoccupied for 40 years, the reawakened Castle, with its refreshed reception rooms and repaired high-quality bedrooms, essentially mimics its original use – that of a grand social venue. Despite the intricacy of our conservation programme, including the implementation of traditional paint techniques to restore the Victorian era decorative schemes, the project was completed within a 76-week timeframe.

With a new glazed roof over the inner courtyard, works also included the construction of an escape stair, lift lobby and roof corrections. Complementing the Castle, and its picturesque landscape, we also constructed a new build museum, archive facility, shop and ancillary accommodation.

The demolition of the childcare centre, extensive external works, landscaping and the formation of a car park were further important elements of the award-winning development that strengthens the island’s visitor offer.

Project Gallery

"GRAHAM has demonstrated a wide range of specialist skills and trades and has completed the main works contract to a high standard. They have met the challenges presented by the project through a collaborative and solution focussed approach"

Ian MacLeod Economic Development Officer, Special Projects Comhairle nan Eilean Siar.