Great and Little Bernera  Ross and Cromarty


In 1882-4, Frances Groome's Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland described Great and Little Bernera like this:

Bernera, Large and Little, two islands of Uig parish, Outer Hebrides, Ross-shire, in Loch Roag, on the W of Lewis, 23 miles W of Stornoway. Large Bernera measures 55/8 miles from NW to SE, and from 1¼ to 3¼ miles from E to W; has a jagged outline, with alternations of bays and headlands; and is surrounded by an archipelago of islets. ...

Inland the surface, sown with over 30 lochs, nowhere exceeds 223 feet above sea-level. A remarkable assemblage of ancient standing stones, rivalling those of Callernish, crowns the brow of one of its promontories, and looks in the distance like a cemetery of thickly clustered tombstones. The allignment of it resembles that of a Roman cross, with a circle at the intersection; and is computed to have originally measured about 680 feet along the main line, over 204 along the transverse line, and 189 round the periphery of the circle. Thirty-six stones are still standing in some or other of its several parts; but numerous others lie prostrate in positions showing them to have been formerly erect, while a good many more are presumed to have been destroyed; and all those still on ground are, more or less, of a megalithic character. Another stone circle now incomplete, and still another with a double oval row, are in the neighbourhood of the great cruciform assemblage; but they consist of much smaller stones. Pop. of Large Bernera (1861) 453, (1871)539, (1881) 563. Little Bernera is a mere islet (1¼# ¾ mile) lying to the NW of Large Bernera.—Ord. Sur., shs. 104,105,1858.

Great and Little Bernera through time

Great and Little Bernera is now part of Eilean Siar district. Click here for graphs and data of how Eilean Siar has changed over two centuries. For statistics about Great and Little Bernera itself, go to Units and Statistics.

How to reference this page:

GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Great and Little Bernera, in Eilean Siar and Ross and Cromarty | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.


Date accessed: 21st September 2021

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