Comunn Eachdraidh Nis is situated in North Dell, based in the former Cross Primary School. It has an accredited museum featuring displays on various aspects of Island life along with a vast archive housing genealogical records for the area. There is also a gift shop and cafe.
If you're passing through Ness on the Isle of Lewis this summer then a visit to Comunn Eachdraidh Nis is a must. Based in the former Cross Primary School, you will find an accredited museum, a vast archive, exhibitions, a cafe and gift shop. CEN staff are on hand to assist and will be happy to answer any question you have in Gaelic/ English. The organisation achieved accredited museum status in 2010. The oldest and perhaps most iconic artefact on display is the Ronan Cross which dates back to pre-Christian times. There are also many items pertaining to the Island way of life. CEN has an extensive collection of genealogical information, including information related to individual families from the area, photographs, documents, video and sound recordings and extracts from other published material. Many people come here looking for their families and answers to their past, which they find in the genealogical archives and the cemetery records dating back to the early nineteen hundreds, thoroughly researched over many years. CEN also houses the history of local schools, churches, information on the First and Second World War, fishing, the Butt of Lewis lighthouse as well as many other topics. The exhibitions are very popular and there is a regular turnover of materials on display. Previous exhibitions include a WW1 exhibition which was marked with an external wall mural being designed and painted, depicting a young soldier head raised, back to back with a modern day teenager, who’s head is bent down in respect. The exhibition also included paintings which were commissioned to commemorate the centenary of WW1 locally. Our latest exhibition marks 40 years since Comunn Eachdraidh Nis was formed and shows photographs of the first ever team of history collectors as well as images from various aspects of the area back in 1977. The archive also holds information about the offshore islands of North Rona and Sulaisgeir. One of the aims of CEN is to provide a welcoming, inclusive and secure bilingual community hub for the North of Lewis where visitors are always welcome to enjoy a sit and a chat over a cup of tea, coffee or a light lunch in a Gaelic/English environment.The café is open 11am-4pm, Mon-Fri and caters for large groups and any dietary needs are handled with care and careful attention. A gift shop is housed at the entrance of the building and has a wide range of stock, including handmade Harris Tweed merchandise, local publications and many other locally made products. There are a number of facilities available including, toilets, disabled access, coach parking and free WIFI. The CEN Mission Statement is: To preserve and promote the history, language, culture and heritage of the Ness to Ballantrushal area of the Isle of Lewis for the benefit of the local community, its visitors and future generations.