Scotland's First Minister to formally open new museum on Lewis

Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is to formally open a new museum and archive on Lewis (Scottish Gaelic: Leòdhas). Lewis is the northern part of Lewis and Harris (Leòdhas agus na Hearadh), the largest island of the Outer Hebrides (Na h-Eileanan Siar), an island chain off the west coast of mainland Scotland. The islands are rich in history and were once part of the Norse kingdom of the Suðreyjar, known as The Kingdom of Mann and the Isles. It comprised the Hebrides, the islands of the Firth of Clyde and the Isle of Man from the 9th to the 13th centuries AD.

The new museum, which has been open to the public since July last year, is part of the redevelopment of Stornoway's Lews Castle, which had previously been closed for 25 years. Stornoway (Scottish Gaelic: Steòrnabhagh) is the largest town in the Hebrides. The new museum uses Gaelic as its first language and documents island life. In its collection are several pieces from the 12th Century Lewis Chessmen. Thought to have been made in Trondheim, Norway, in about 1150-1200 AD, the chess pieces were discovered in early 1831 in a sand bank at the head of Camas Uig on the west coast of Lewis.

Museum nan Eilean is open Tuesdays to Fridays from 13:00 until 17:00 and on Saturdays from 10:00 until 17:00.

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