47174: Knock Carloway, Lewis

An Cnoc meaning ‘The Hill’ lies on both sides of the Carloway River. Close to the main bridge which spans the river is what is generally regarded as the “centre” of Carloway. Two churches (the Free Church and the Church of Scotland), a War Memorial, Carloway Primary School, the Community Centre and the Police Station are all within a few yards of each other. The school was built in 1882, the Free Church in 1884 and the Church of Scotland in 1908.

On the Knock pasture there is a hill called ‘Beinn Iomhair’ (Edward’s Hill). On the occasion of Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee in 1897 a bonfire was lit on the top of ‘Beinn Iomhair’. Five years later, on the coronation of King Edward V11 in 1902, a memorial cairn was erected. At that time, such events were celebrated by walking in procession, a piper leading the way, to the top of the hill. This custom has been revived with the present-day New Year’s Day walk, with piper, to unfurl the Carloway Flag beside the newly restored cairn on the summit – the restoration and the custom being initiated by Comann Eachdraidh Chàrlabhaigh.


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