For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel's sake. The great affair is to move. ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON

Friday, 9 October 2009

Castles in Camas Uig

Early next morning I went to Camas Uig (or Uig Bay - 'camas' means 'bay' in Gaelic) - just a few miles west of Cnip. I left my tent pitched at Cnip, wanting to stay there another night. Camas Uig is one of the wonderful places of Lewis (and, believe me, Lewis has many wonderful places)...




Before my arrival someone had left a temporary fortification on the broad sands of the bay...



But mine seemed to be the the only footmarks. That is, until these two people appeared... The bridged stream drains the freshwater loch of Loch Suaineabhal, which lies between the peaks of Suaineabhal and Cleite Leathann...




In a sand dune somewhere at the head of this bay was discovered the collection of 12th century chess pieces which later became known as the Lewis Chessman or the Uig Chessman. Exactly where and when they were found, who found them and whence they came remains something of a mystery. But what's beyond doubt is that they are the most exquisitely beautiful objects - 78 pieces in all, carved from walrus ivory and whales' teeth. They were probably made in Norway (the Outer Hebrides were ruled by the Vikings during that period). The British Museum in London holds some of the figures, and Edinburgh's Royal Museum the rest.

(As usual, please double-click on the pix to enlarge.)

2 comments:

am said...

Of this set, I especially like the photo with the bridge and the two people. Beautiful!

The Solitary Walker said...

That's my favourite too!