There will be an Open Day at Eaglais na h-Aoidhe on Point, Isle of Lewis, on Saturday 18th July, from 10am to 4pm.
Also known as St Columba’s Ui Church, this is a medieval ruined church located at the Point end of the Braighe overlooking Broad Bay.
It is one of the most important archaeological sites on Lewis. It was the main church on the Island during the medieval period and is a burial place for Macleod chiefs until the 17th Century and the Mackenzies who controlled the island in later years. It is one of the few and most complete remains of the medieval and post-medieval period on the Isle of Lewis.
The ancient ruins were very carefully consolidated and stabilised in 2012/13 after a long fundraising campaign. However the severe storms of 2014 and 2015, coupled with exceptionally high tides earlier this year, took their toll on the sea defences near the Church. The seawall was badly breached in several places and the church and graveyard were at risk from further storms.
Urras Eaglais na h-Aoidhe (the charitable trust responsible for the church) got professional advice and funding to repair and strengthen the sea defences. Sheet piles were very gently inserted between the church and the sea along the line of the eroded seawall. Then the area was filled with stones and the level of the path was raised to nearer the base of the church. A wooden rail finishes the top of the piles neatly.
The Open Day on Saturday 18th July, from 10.00am to 4.00pm is for people to come and see the work that has been done. Several directors and an archaeologist will be there to answer questions and to listen to your ideas for the future.
There will be an opportunity to buy books about the church and other gifts and Urras Eaglais na h-Aoidhe are planning some activities for children. You will also be able to see and contribute to the research we are doing on the graveyard.
"Everyone is welcome and we look forward to meeting you on the 18th, " say the organisers.