Hebrides churchyard rescued with help from Breedon

The graveyard of the 14th century St Columba’s Church near Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis has been rescued from the ravages of coastal erosion by sea defences installed by Breedon.


14 January 2019

The graveyard of the 14th century St Columba’s Church near Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis has been rescued from the ravages of coastal erosion by sea defences installed by Breedon.

The Church is located on a stretch of coastline where severe erosion was threatening to destroy the graveyard wall.  The repairs to the supporting sea wall have not only protected the graveyard, but also enabled the first phase of the Point and Sandwick Coastal Community Path, which runs along this part of the cliff edge at the Braighe, to be completed, much to the delight of the local community.

The Point and Sandwick Coastal Community Path vision is for a 40-kilometre route from Stornoway through the Braighe and Aignish and around the entire Point peninsula.  Completion of this first phase has secured 100 metres of coastline, including the outside of the graveyard, and transformed the entire coastal path project from a concept to reality.

Breedon made extensive use of rock armour from its Marybank quarry for the repairs and also supplied red scalpings, instead of the more common grey material, to give the path a distinctive appearance.

Tony Robson, one of the funding and engineering consultants who have been supporting the coastal community path committee over the past two years, explained that following the repairs “the place is in a better way than it was before and it’s now able to withstand a north-westerly storm. Funding for the project was provided by Leader, Stornoway Trust and Point and Sandwick Trust.”  He also pointed out the significance of the Church as an important historical site, the burial place of a member of the Macleod clan chiefs.


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Community representatives at the site following completion of the first phase of the Point and Sandwick Coastal Community Path. 

Photo courtesy of Sandie Maciver of SandiePhotos. 

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