Past & Present

Geocrab


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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