The Seven Wonders Of The Anchent Lewis World

12 02 2010

The Great Pyramid of Gisla

Located more or less on the spot of the present day Gisla Dam, the Gisla Pyramid dominated the landscape of Uig and Western Lewis for several centuries. It is thought that this Great Pyramid was constructed around 2600 BC, prior to the pyramids of Egypt.

The Egyptians were very keen on exotic foods and travelled the world looking for the finest dishes the known world had to offer. It wasn’t long before these explorers reached Lewis and shortly after guga reached the menus of the Pharaohs. Fleets of Egyptian ships would ply the waters of the Mediterranean en route to the Minch in order to collect the huge orders for the mighty guga. In order to keep the thousands of guga fresh, a local brickie from Morsgail, known as ‘Two-Tonne-Calum’ and his wife ‘Cleo-Peatra’, came up with the idea of a pyramid shaped stone structure which would keep produce cool and fresh for long periods of time. And so the very first pyramid was built at Gisla and was soon chock a block with the salted sea birds. The pyramid acted as an early version of a giant refrigerator, and proved so popular that many were constructed in Egypt to keep their local produce fresh.

Over the centuries, the Gisla Pyramid fell into disuse, and slowly crumbled away. The last few remaining blocks of stone were incorporated into the present day Gisla Hydro Dam.

Hanging Gardens of Bayble

This Ancient Wonder was found in Point in the present day village of Bayble. Villagers of Bayble tried in vain for many decades to develop garden plots. Their endeavours always came to naught as the local sheep would always sneak into the gardens & enclosures and eat all the petunias. Eventually, after many attempts to overcome this problem a local gardener called Alan Titchbog came up with the brilliant solution of planting flowers in wee hanging baskets and suspending these baskets from lamp-posts.  The only drawback to the plan was that some one else had to go off and invent the lamp-post. But once this problem was solved, the villagers of Bayble soon had the most spectacular gardens in the whole of Lewis. The Hanging Gardens of Bayble remained a Wonder of the Ancient Lewis World until 1000 BC when the Point sheep learned how to bungee-jump off the top of the lamp-posts and bite off the heads of the flowers.

This Wonder of the Ancient World should not be confused by the ‘Hanging Garenin’s of Carloway’ where all the blackhouses in the village of Garenin was suspended from fence posts to stop the earth floors getting wet during high tides.

Statue of Zebo’s

This was a statue of a well known client of a local drinking establishment in Ancient Stornoway. The statue was located roughly where the present day Era Nightclub is situated. Bits of the statue were later reused to make the statue of Lady Matheson in the present day Castle Grounds.

Temple of Archie-Seamus (Continuing)

There were many gods on the go in Ancient Lewis. By far the most famous was Shonny, the sea god. Another popular god was Archie-Seamus. He was the god of tweed weaving. His followers had a massive falling out over a potentially blasphemous tweed pattern and some left to form a break away temple known as the ‘Continuing’. This Temple was situated roughly where Sandwick Road is now.

Maws-oleum of Maws at Calicvol-Nessus

The townies of the Ancient World were very particular about who got buried in Sandwick Cemetery. The townsfolk felt that the ‘maws’ (those from rural areas) should not be buried next to, nor indeed close to, the good citizens of the metropolis, in case this lowered the property values of the graves.

Instead, the Ancient Town Council paid for the construction of a large stone burial chamber up in Ness, as this was felt to be far enough away from the capital. Every deceased maw had to be buried in this ornate building (complete with carvings of sheep and peat-stacks to make the dead maws feel at home) as this was the most economical way of keeping unwanted bodies out of Sandwick Cemetery.

The building came to be known locally as the Maws-oleum and this name soon became common parlance in the form we all know today ‘mausoleum’.

Lighthouse of Alexina

Even back in the ancient world, the town of Stornoway was an important harbour. Merchant ships from all over the known world would make passage for Lewis to take advantage of the ready supplies of peat, tweed and marag dubh.

In order to guide the sailors into the sheltered bay, it was decreed that a huge lighthouse should be constructed at Arnish Point. This was to be a tall stone tower, topped off with a huge peat burning brazier which could be seen from the Isle of Skye on a clear night. The fire was kept burning at night by a Lighthouse Keeper who lived in a wee house next door to the tower. The very first keeper was called Alexina, and the lighthouse was soon known as The light house of Alexina in her honour.

Sadly the lighthouse burned down after only 150 years of operation when an apprentice Keeper used high octane peats (ones from Uig) instead of regular (ones from Point).

Colossus of Rhodies

Rhododendron bushes running amok and taking over the Castle Grounds are not a new thing. Back in the Ancient World, the Castle Grounds (or the Ziggurat Grounds as they were then known) were also plagued by those pesky bushes. So much so, that the very town of Stornoway was in danger of been swamped by the swiftly spreading bushes.  After some investigations it turned out that it was only one giant rhododendron bush, which had spread its evil tendrils across the Ziggurat Grounds. A potion made up of dried guga blood and marags was concocted and this was sprayed on the colossal bush, resulting in its demise.However, off-shoots of this original rhododendron bush still exist in the modern day Castle Grounds and can be heard plotting revenge on a still summers evening.