Callanish Standing Stones, Isle of Lewis, Scotland

Local tradition says that giants who lived on the island refused to be converted to Christianity by Saint Kieran and were turned into stone as a punishment. Another belief says that at sunrise on midsummer morning, the “shining one” walked along the stone avenue, “his arrival heralded by the cuckoo’s call.” This legend could be a folk memory recalling the astronomical significance of the stones.

Construction took place between 2900 and 2600 BC, though there were possibly buildings before 3000 BC. A tomb was later built into the site. Debris from the destruction of the tomb suggests the site was out of use between 2000 BC and 1700 BC. The layout of the stones resembles a distorted Celtic cross.

The stones are near the village of Callanish on the west coast of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides.

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Roads: Hebrides, Part 8.

A fog fights
viciously with the sun,  
then tires of the game.

The sun is trying to break through dark cloud when I glimpse the Calanais Stones, and the sight leaves me spellbound.  I open the gate of a neighboring croftland to get a better view of the setting sun over the water. A fitting way to test the “Right to Roam” one last time.    

VJ Singh | Isle of Lewis, Outer Hebrides, Scotland | August 2015 | Read the entire story here and select a category for the story e.g. Adventurous, Reflective etc.

Calainis Stones by Moonlight by The Flying Monk on Flickr.

Via Flickr:

A brief history of Calainis: the stones were erected around 3000 BC. The circle consists of a central stone almost five metres high, surrounded by a circle of thirteen stones. Within the circle is a burial chamber (just visible in the pic), which excavations have shown were added a few generations after the stones were first erected. Its entrance passage is oriented east and marked by the tall stone. To the North a double avenue of stones runs from the circle for eighty metres. To the South, East and West run three single rows of stones forming the arms of a cross.

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On the ‘Hill of Sorrow’ - 'Cnoc an Tursa’ by skol-louarn on Flickr.

Sur la “Colline du Chagrin” Est ce ainsi une allusion locale aux rites funéraires supposés de ce monument ?
- “Cet ancien monument est sans doute le plus impressionnant en Grande-Bretagne après Stonehenge et a nécessité de grandes compétences de génie civil pour sa création. Il comprend treize grandes pierres formant un cercle de 13 m de diamètre érigés sur une lande déserte. Au nord de ce cercle s'étend une avenue de pierres de 83 m de long et 27 mètres de large, dont seulement 19 pierres demeurent. Au sud du cercle , une avenue plus courte et étroite formée de six pierres, et à l'est et à l'ouest un autre bras court formé de quatre pierres chacun. Dans le cercle principal , un cairn de sépulture a été édifié postérieurement au cercle, et en face de son entrée se dresse le plus haut des menhirs du monument, quelque 4,8 m de hauteur. Il a été supposé, parmi d'autres théories, que les pierres forment un calendrier basé sur la position des astres.
La zone autour de Calanais comprend en tout 21 monuments érigés vers 3000 av. J.-C.” (avant Stonehenge !) - Extrait de Royal Commision on the ancient and historical monuments of Scotland.

Standing Stones, c.3,000 bc A ring of gneiss slabs surrounding a central monolith, with an avenue running north and single rows extending south, east and west. Erected on land that had already been cultivated, this remarkable ritualistic monument, older than Stonehenge, was originally just one row running southwards.
The 'Standing Stones of Callanish, Calanais, Isle of Lewis, Scotland.

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