Callanish I, Isle of Lewis, Scotland

This evening, I am reporting on one of Scotland’s top ranking prehistoric stone circles, namely Callanish I on the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides.

This stunning site is located some 13 miles west of Stornoway (capital of Lewis). Some key aspects:

  • Was probably built over several phases, not as a single project.
  • The circle is actually an ellipse.
  • This is just one of  a concentration of stone circles in this particular locality. Similar concentrations  can be found in other parts of Scotland: Kilmartin Glen in Argyll and Machrie Moor on the Isle of Arran.
  • Comprises a diminutive stone circle, a central stone, an avenue, three rows and a chambered tomb.
  • Although the site impresses for its grandeur and astronomy the ring is of modest proportions, with an internal area of just 1334 sq ft or 124 sq m.
  • The central line of the stone avenue is aligned on the setting of the southern moon.
  • The site may date from 2200 BC.
  • Was covered in peat and the scale of the site only became evident in 1857 when 5 ft (1,5m) of peat was removed. Interestingly, stone circle building ceased around 1000 BC, a time which coincided with climate change which in turn triggered an accretion of peat which in turn protected the site over a period of some 3000 years.

Callanish I, Isle of Lewis, Scotland.

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