Comann Eachdraichd Uig

Finds in 1915

A letter to the Gazette on 15 October 1917, by “DJM”, Donald J Macleod, Inspector of Schools (not DJ Maciver as previously indicated.)

‘Neiseach’ [from a previous correspondence] maintains there are no pre-Norse Celtic remains in our island. That is not so, I may be able, in a limited way to illustrate at first hand. In 1915, I was fortunate enough, with the aid of a friend, to recover certain articles of antiquarian interest from a Viking grave at Valtos, Uig. These included two large oval Scandinavian brooches of brass, a connecting chain of the same metal, an amber bead, a fairly large heavy circular bronze ornament with raised centre and surface decorated with incised looped cords characteristically Celtic, a Celtic penannular brooch of bronze, a buckle and belt mounting also of bronze, with what Mr Curle, of the Scottish Museum, to which they were sent for expert examination, termed “double interlaced knotwork typical of the Celtic manuscripts of the best period. Also an iron knife and socket spear-head much corroded. A full description, with figured plates, will be found in the last volume of the Transactions of the Scottish Antiquities Society. It will be noted that all (and only) the bronze articles are indubitably Celtic. Mr Curle places the state of the burial about 850, and the fashioning of the ornaments at a very much earlier date. Of course, if may be suggested that they were the spoils of a Viking raid in Ireland, but the much more probably explanation is that these ornaments were secured from some Lewis source, probably a native family of distinction. In any case they are remains of an early age, found in Lewis, and as Celtic as any ever discovered from Cape Clear to the Butt.