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The surroundings of the abandoned West Vallay mansion built by Erskine Beveridge are the target of the next Uist Community Archaeology Group guided walk.

Dubbed “Beveridge’s back yard”, the informal expedition on Sunday, June 18, will explore some of the features of the West Vallay strand and immediate hinterland.

It is a short walk of no more than two hours and is described as a “gentle saunter” of around one to three kilometres, mostly on roads, paths, tracks, flat terrain, and beaches.

Everyone, apart from dogs due to lambs along the route, is welcome.

Members go free, while day membership is £3. Alternatively, annual memberships of £10 can be taken out on the day.

Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 07740 365 072 or 07789 306 223 for details of the meeting point and booking.

The Beveridge mansion on Vallay pictured in 2004

Today, Vallay is uninhabited but once supported a population of almost 60 people. It can be reached at low tide from North Uist.

Its best-known resident was Erskine Beveridge (1851 - 1920), whose residence is now derelict.

He was a Scottish textile manufacturer, historian and antiquarian. He travelled extensively throughout Scotland and penned several Scottish history and archaeology books.

He built the house on Vallay as a base to excavate the many archaeological sites around Vallay.

These excavations, together with his studies of other parts of North Uist, culminated in the 1911 publication of his book, North Uist: Its Archaeology and Topography. Today he is widely regarded as one of the first and most prominent field archaeologists in the Outer Hebrides. Some objects he found are housed in the Erskine Beveridge Collection at the National Museums Scotland.