Welcome to the Ui Church

5 - The 15th Century

The church

15th century

A new aisle was built, abutting the south wall of the church, and entered from the church by two inserted doorways. (The aisle was later removed, leaving little trace, and one of the doorways was blocked up.) This may have served as a burial aisle for the Macleod chiefs of Lewis.


SoldierRoderick Macleod

Roderick Macleod, 7th chief of MacLeod and a great-grandson of Torquil IV, held Lewis during the latter part of the 15th century. He died in 1498, and it is believed that the effigy on a carved
graveslab, now sadly worn, commemorates him. He is conventionally depicted as a warrior, with broadsword and spear, and dressed in a helmet, mail ‘collar’ and quilted body-armour.

The End of the Lordship of the Isles

Through the 14th and 15th centuries, the Stewart kings of Scotland had sought to quell the independent power of the Lordship of the Isles. This was effectively achieved in 1493, when John Macdonald, fourth Lord of the Isles, was forfeited and his lands annexed. The break-up of the Lordship’s power base led to more turbulent times in the islands.

The religious centre of the Lordship, as in earlier times, had been at Iona, and it was there that the Lords of the Isles and many of their principal island chiefs were buried. This tradition now waned, and the patrimonial churches such as Roghadal in Harris grew in importance. However, it is likely that Eaglais na h-Aoidhe had always been the burial place of the Macleod chiefs of Lewis as well as their principal parish