Our Lady of the Isles is a 9 metre (30 feet) tall depiction of the Madonna and child that stands on the island of South Uist. It was erected in 1957 on the western slope of Rueval, known as the Hill of Miracles, at a hight of 52 metres (170 feet) above sea level, to guard the island against any ill effect from the nearby Royal Artillery establishment.
The statue was commissioned shortly after the Ministry of Defence proposed a missile testing range to be constructed on the island. Locals were concerned that this would destroy much of the island’s culture and resistance to the proposal was led by Canon John Morrison, the local parish priest. The statue was intended to be both an expression of devotion of the people of South Uist to the Virgin Mary and also a reminder to those arriving on the isles that that they were entering a ‘different world’.
The statue, which overlooks the machair plain to the west coast and the Atlantic Ocean beyond, was the work of Hew Lorimer. He gave the Madonna the face of a typical island woman and the landmark was paid for by the people of the island.
Our Lady of the Isles is lit up at night and is located at the end of a pathway, just off the main road through the island.
1 week camper van road-trip with Hebridean Campervan Holidays
- Explore: The Outer Hebrides 2016-2017