Museum nan Eilean at Lews Castle, Stornoway opens its doors to the public for the first time on 14th July.
Part of the Heritage Lottery Fund supported Lews Castle project, the museum explains life in the Outer Hebrides from prehistory to the present with a range of exhibitions including significant archaeological finds from National Museum Scotland.
Six of the Lewis Chessmen are on long-term loan to Stornoway from the British Museum and take their place as the centrepiece exhibits in a new building inspired by the Castle’s former glasshouses.
Nearly a third of the objects on display are on loan from National Museums Scotland, including a number of spectacular Viking hacksilver hoards and a 1923 Morgan three-wheel motor car, which was driven in Stornoway and on the island of Berneray
In addition to the new exhibits, a dramatic video projection takes visitors on a journey across the islands in a series of clips filmed day and night throughout the year from the north of Lewis all the way to Barra.
Inside Lews Castle, the ground floor has been magnificently restored to its former gothic revival glory including new hand-painted walls and plasterwork. The Natural Retreats Storehouse and Outfitters will provide high quality meals and souvenirs suitable for all.
Comhairle Leader, Councillor Angus Campbell, said, “We are looking forward to the opening of the fully restored Lews Castle and Museum, which will contribute to the local economy whilst providing a base for the cultural heritage of the Islands. The Museum and Archive will host a range of fascinating artefacts including the iconic, world famous 12th century Lewis Chessmen which we are confident will be of massive interest to local people and visitors to the islands.”