Past & Present


Approaching Geocrab through the pass from Licisto you come close to the water treatment works, with its three windmills, which serves the whole of South Harris. Geocrab was once a thriving fishing community; around 1920, a wool spinning and carding mill was established as part of Lord Leverhulme’s overall scheme for industrialising the island. The mill was powered by a small hydro-electric generator which was fed from a loch in the hills above. This source of local employment created the incentive for two grocers shops to be set up in the village; one at the Ardmore road junction owned by Norman MacKay who also operated a small bus service for some time, and the other shop, which was beside Seaview House, was owned by Roderick (Simon) MacKenzie. There had previously been a small store at Ardmor, immediately below the Skoon Art Café. A path from behind the Café takes you to the lonely but beautiful deserted settlement at Strupersaig.
The shops no longer exist, and the wool mill has become a salmon hatchery, continuing to provide local employment. The old mill building with its hydro-electric generator along with the associated pipeline over the stone pillar aquaduct is a listed building.

Geocrab Hatchery Hamish Taylor.jpg(Photo: Hamish Taylor)

Geocrab Hatchery – the refurbished building which once housed the carding mill 

Geocrab Aquaduct Hamish Taylor.jpg(Photo: Hamish Taylor)

The aquaduct in Geocrab which fed Lord Leverhulme’s hydro-powered carding mill. 

From the mill, the road takes you through the small village of Beckravig, where in the small bay with a shingle beach is the landfall for the undersea cable connecting Lewis and Harris to the National Grid.

By John MacAulay

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