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www leverburgh.co.uk
Lord Leverhulme
Leverburgh / An-T-Ob

The village of Leverburgh lies at the south end of the Isle of Harris.  The village was originally named Obbe ( hence the Gaelic name An-T-Ob )and later renamed Leverburgh in  December 1920 after the soap tycoon Lord Leverhulme bought the South Harris estate from the Earl of Dunmore.

Lord Leverhulme set up a fish processing site at Leverburgh Pier, consisting of curing sheds, smoke house, refrigeration buildings, accommodation blocks, store sheds, houses for his managers as well as a harbour that was capable of providing berths for fifty herring drifters. 

The second phase of his development would have seen the Obbe converted into an inner harbour , the channel to the sea was to be blasted and fitted with lock gates to keep a constant depth of water in the Obbe.  Unfortunately this project never came of.  It was 1924 before the first catch of herring was landed at Leverburgh, 12 drifters from Great Yarmouth landed such a big catch  ( the likes of which was never to be repeated ) that extra girls had to be taken in from the mainland to handle the large quantity of herring.

On Thursday 7th May 1925, William Hesketh, Lord, Viscount Leverhulme passed away.  This had a major effect on the people of Leverburgh, work was ceased  and the workforce laid off .  The Board of Lever Brothers, who did not have any interest in the Leverburgh project, sold the estate of South Harris, consisting of 33,000 acres in October 1925 for the sum of £900.
All that remains of Leverhulmes works are the houses that he built in Leverburgh.  The local school (Leverhulme Memorial ) was named after him.Click here for a more detailed history of Leverburgh

Today Leverburgh has a population just under 200, the past few years has seen a number of young people leaving the area due to poor job prospects, there is a major need for job investment within Leverburgh  if only to keep local people from moving else where. 
The main employment in Leverburgh is the Fishing industry and Fish Farming , over the past couple of years the fishing industry has been hit hard and now there are less than a dozen vessles working out of the port, the main method of fishing is creel/pot fishing, targeting such species as Nephrops (prawns), Crab and Lobster.  Stroll down to the pier area and watch the vessels land their catches and if you are lucky you may be able to sample some of their catch.
Crofting pays a major part of life on the island as well, sheep being the main stock with only a few crofters also having cattle.

As you can see from the Map Leverburgh is virtually surrounded by water giving plenty opportunity for both sea and freshwater angling.  In the summer months Salmon and Sea Trout are to be caught in the Freshwater lochs as well as Brown trout, for details of the An Clachan for full details.  The local Post Office is housed at The Cauldron  which also has a gift and craft shop.  Beside the Cauldron you will find,  Silhouette, a ladies and gents hairdressing and beauty Salon. 
Situated at the ferry terminal is The Anchorage, a café and public bar which is an ideal stop for all wishing to travel over on the car ferry to North Uist

Leverhulme Memorial school is situated in the centre of the village, this is a primary school and at present it has a school roll of around 25 pupils.  Other amenities within the village include a Medical practice, Care Home, three churches and a Fire station.

There  are a number of Bed & Breakfast establishments dotted around the village as well as a Bunkhouse, see accommodation should not be a problem, although it is always best to book early to avoid disappointment.

Leverburgh is well served by public transport, buses link it to the rest of Harris and Lewis with several services running to the islands main town, Stornoway on Lewis.  See Transport for more details.

For those interseted in tracing their ancestory island connections should pay a visit to St. Clements church, Rodel, The MacGilvery Centre and Temple Park, Northton,Bill Lawson at the guided walks in Northton, Black House in Borve, Castaway2000 Island (Taransay), cruises along the coastline of Harris and countless white sandy beaches all the way up the west side of the island. For those interested in diving will find a good dive at Rodel of the Stassa, the wreck of the 1685-ton Panamanian steamship Stassa which ran aground at Renish Point on 15 July, 1966, the wreck is still intact.

The village hall committee have been successful in raising funds for a new community centre for the village. The new Hall has now been completed,  See Village Hall for full details. 

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