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Stornoway

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Things to do: sightseeing, museums, historic sites
Stornoway is a town on the Isle of Lewis, in the Outer Hebrides (also known as the Western Isles) of Scotland.The town's population is around 8,000, making it the largest town in the Outer Hebrides (with a third of the population). The civil parish of Stornoway, including various nearby villages, has a population of approximately 12,000. Stornoway is an important port and the major town and administrative centre of the Outer Hebrides. It is home to Comhairle nan Eilean Siar (the Western Isles Council) and a variety of educational, sporting and media establishments. Observance of the Christian Sabbath (Sunday) has long been an aspect of the island's culture. Recent changes mean that Sunday on Lewis is now less different from Sunday on the other Western Isles or the mainland of Scotland.GaelicAccording to the 2011 Census, there are 5,492 Gaelic speakers in the greater Stornoway area.HistoryThe town was founded by Vikings in the early 9th century, under the Old Norse name Stjórnavágr. This town, and what eventually became its present day version, grew up around a sheltered natural harbour well placed at a central point on the island, for the convenience of people from all over the island, to arrive at the port of Stornoway, either by family boat or by horse-drawn coach for ongoing travel and trade with the mainland of Scotland and to all points south. At some point in the mid 1500s, the already ancient MacLeod castle in Stornoway 'fell victim to the cannons of the Duke of Argyle'. By the early 1600s rumbling trade wars came to a head and all further government attempts to curtail traditional shipping rights were firmly resisted by the islanders, as was an attempt by the King of Scotland James VI to place in the island the Scottish trading company known as the Fife Adventurers around 1598.
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