Harris-North Uist Sub-Sea Telegraph Cable

I have previously discussed this final link  in the chain of cables that were established to connect the isles ‘from Barra to the Butt’ (and hence, via Stornoway, to the mainland) and have now found the site of its landfall in North Uist.

The Ordnance Survey 1st Edition 1-inch map (1885), Sheet 89 – Sollas, clearly shows the point where the cable lands ashore on the Àrd nam Madah peninsular. This is a slightly unexpected location for there are still several miles of difficult roadless land to traverse before reaching the Post Office in Lochmaddy, and it would be interesting to know why the undersea cable wasn’t taken the final couple of Nautical miles direct?

As always, as one question is answered another one is raised, so if anyone can supply any information that may shed light on why this route was chosen I would be delighted to hear from you!

There still also remains the mystery of the telegraph message from Lochmaddy to Harris in September 1879, informing Lord Dunmore of the wreck of the yacht ‘Astarte’ several years before this cable was apparently laid , suggesting perhaps that the date shown here may be incorrect?

RCAHMS Lunchtime Lecture 5 Dec 2012

Today three members of the Carmichael Watson Project gave a trio of talks on:

‘An antiquarian friendship: Alexander Carmichael, Captain Frederick Thomas, and the archaeology of the Outer Hebrides’

Dr Donald William Stewart very kindly referred to some of my work, published in this blog, with regard to Fred & Fanny Thomas. A recording of the talks may be heard here: