4821: Lochganvich, Lewis

Lochganvich is a fairly new village, settled around 1820 mostly by people from Uig.

The area known as Deanston, just next to Lochganvich, was an agricultural experiment funded by Sir James Matheson to reclaim land from peat. A man by the name of James Smith from Deanston in Perthshire was given the remit to improve the waterlogged peat land. He was well known for his work in the Carse of Gowrie between Perth and Dundee. Unlike Lewis, where all that remains of the experiment are the larger-than-usual parks just past Lochganvich on the left of the road in the direction to Uig, the Carse of Gowrie is now recognised as among the finest farm land in Britain.

On the right hand side of the A858 road, going towards the west side, are the remains of the houses built by crofters from Reef who settled in Deanston in 1850, but emigrated only the following year, due to financial hardship. Oral tradition relates that the sand was taken from Uig to Garynahine by boat and then to Deanston by horse and cart. It is said that the ground was so water logged that the horses had boards strapped to their feet to help them move around.

Oral tradition also relates that the only local families associated with the project were two brothers by the name of Maciver who emigrated to Manitoba in 1851.

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