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Scottish Gaelic: Siabost
Norse Mill and Kiln Shawbost.JPG
The Norse mill and kiln at Shawbost
Shawbost is located in Outer Hebrides
 Shawbost shown within the Outer Hebrides
OS grid reference NB259467
Civil parish Barvas
Council area Na h-Eileanan Siar
Lieutenancy area Western Isles
Country Scotland
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Postcode district HS2
Dialling code 01851
Police Scottish
Fire Scottish
Ambulance Scottish
EU Parliament Scotland
UK Parliament Na h-Eileanan an Iar
Scottish Parliament Na h-Eileanan an Iar
List of places

Coordinates: 58°19′26″N 6°40′52″W / 58.324°N 6.681°W / 58.324; -6.681

Shawbost (Scottish Gaelic: Siabost) is a large township in the West Side of the Isle of Lewis. The village of Shawbost has a population of around 500 and lies around 20 miles (30 km) to the west of the island's capital Stornoway. Shawbost is within the parish of Barvas.[1] A recent development in the village was the renovation of the old school into the new community centre. The community is split into three sections: North Shawbost (Siabost a Tuath), South Shawbost (Siabost a Deas)and New Shawbost (Pàirc Shiaboist). There is a small museum of folk life and nearby is a small stone circle. The village is also overlooked by a small hill named Beinn Bhragair, 261 m high, and situated near to a beach.

Shawbost is a prominent village on the Island of Lewis, due to the school, community centre, beach and Harris Tweed Mill.

Shawbost School[edit]

The new school at Siabost

The local school has both secondary and primary teaching units. Shawbost School has a roll of 86 pupils between 5-14 years of age.[2] The school also acts as an optional Secondary school for children from the neighbouring villages of Carloway, Bragar, Arnol, Bru and Barvas. The children's other option is to transfer directly to the Nicolson Institute in Stornoway.

The present school building was opened in 1992[2] and provided the village, along with the neighbouring villages, with various facilities. These facilities include a community library, games hall, swimming pool, outdoor football park[2] and shinty, all which can be used by the public in addition to a kitchen and meeting rooms.

The school has both permanently based teachers in addition to visiting staff[2] who teach at many other local schools in addition to Shawbost. This allows the children who attend the school to receive the best education possible when it comes to subjects such as Art and Music.

The school is as of May 2011 the home of shinty in Lewis. It is the home park of Lewis Camanachd.

Ionad Na Seann Sgoil[edit]

The Old School has been modernised and turned into an enterprise base and local government offices

Ionad Na Seann Sgoil (Old School Centre) is Shawbost's community centre.[3] The community centre had previously been the village’s first school until the new school was built. The building was then used as a nursery school for a short while until the building came into disrepair. It was then left unused and abandoned for many years until it was decided that it should be rebuilt at a cost of nearly £1million and used as the village’s new community centre. The community centre was opened in September 2005.[4]

The purpose of the community centre was to not only serve the needs of the community, both young and old, but of the greater community, extending to not only the west side but the entire island. In order to be able to meet this, the centre became home to many new facilities. These included an auditorium able to seat around 75 people but that could be folded and stored away leaving the room free to act as a hall for dances and other events. A museum is contained in the building[5] displaying local historical artefacts as well as much literature about the local history and people. The building is also home to the archives of the West Side Historical Society.[6]

There is also a community kitchen which is used as a Cafe in the summer months for tourists wishing to visit the local museum and also for tourists who are passing through the village en route to another of Lewis's many historical sites. The centre also contains a conference room, fitness suite and croileagan. The croileagan is a nursery but one in which the children are taught in Gaelic. On the outside of the centre is a community garden which was created over a number of years.

Finally the community centre contains a Youth Cafe which comprises the most modern of equipment to keep the local youth entertained. Some examples of the facilities available include a PC suite, games consoles with High Definition Televisions and various musical equipment as well as many other facilities.

Shawbost Beach[edit]

Shawbost beach

Shawbost beach is one of many beautiful beaches on the island of Lewis. It is reached by one of two single track roads, one arriving at the beach from each side, which diverge from the main road. The beach itself is about 200 metres long and has a slipway one the left hand side. On either side of the beach are creags as well as cliffs which have a coastal walk along them which stretches from Dail Beag to Bragar.

The beach is usually very quiet even during the summer months and so is perfect for tourists who want the experience of a whole beach to themselves.

Shawbost in film[edit]


  1. ^ "Lewis, Shawbost, General". Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland. Retrieved 19 December 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Welcome / Failte". Sgoil Shiaboist. Retrieved 19 December 2014. 
  3. ^ "Ionad Na Seann Sgoil - The Old School Centre(Shawbost)". Shawbost Old School. Archived from the original on 18 June 2009. Retrieved 19 December 2014. 
  4. ^ "About the area". Kabuis. Retrieved 19 December 2014. 
  5. ^ "Shawbost Museum". VisitScotland. Retrieved 19 December 2014. 
  6. ^ "West Side Historical Society". West Side Historical Society. Retrieved 19 December 2014. 
  7. ^ "Full record for 'HIGHLANDS AND ISLANDS - A ROYAL TOUR'" Scottish Screen Archive. Retrieved 21 June 2010.

External links[edit]