Visiting Calanais Standing Stones
Callanish Holiday Accommodation Guide providing you with information for the destination known as Callanish on Lewis some 15 miles west from Stornoway on the A858 near the head of Loch Roag, is famous for its cruciform setting of megaliths, unique in Scotland and outstanding in Britain and dated between 2000 and I500 B.C. The temple, on a ridge of the promontory jutting into the loch, consists of a circle of tall standing-stones round a chambered cairn which may have been an altar for human sacriﬁce.
Erected, it is believed, by a pre Celtic race of Iberian stock, the circle and altar were apparently connected with sun worship.
A main avenue, nearly 300 yards long, running due south is ﬂanked by parallel rows of megaliths and leads directly to the sacriﬁcial stone facing east and rising to a height of 17 ft. Three lines of stones radiate from the centre circle to east, west and south creating an overall impression of a cross. The mystery remains how these huge blocks of stone were transported and set up without mechanical aid.
Over the centuries they had sunk partly into the peat base, but in the middle of the last century Sir James Matheson had them dug round and cleared of peat, the marks of which may be seen half way up the taller stones.
The whole site is in the care of the Department of the Environment, and there is an explanatory leaﬂet. About l mile to the north of Callanish is Breasclete, where the former Flannan Isles light house shore station has been converted into ﬂats. In this area there are some surviving but converted ‘black houses’, primitive dwellings peculiar to the Hebrides.
Reviewing Calanais Standing Stones Guide
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An remarkable arrangement of stones in the form of a cross was created by the Calanais Standing Stones approximately five thousand years ago. They existed at least two thousand years before the famous Stonehenge monument in England and were an important location for ritual activity at that time.
Even though we do not know the reason why the standing stones at Calanais were created, we have a strong suspicion that they functioned as some type of astronomical observatory.
Patrick Ashmore, who was involved in the excavations at Calanais in the early 1980s, wrote the following: "The most tempting hypothesis... is that every 18.6 years, the moon skims particularly low over the southern hills." It would appear to be dancing along them, much like a great deity might do if he were on earth. Those who kept a watchful eye on the heavens gained authority on earth by their knowledge and ability to forecast this celestial event.
Urras Nan Tursachan is the owner and manager of the visitor centre, which features an exhibition titled "Story of the Stones," as well as a café and a gift store. Visit this link for information on when they are open.
Top Attractions In And Around Calanais Standing Stones
The Calanais Standing Stones, alternatively referred to as the Callanish Stones, are a renowned Neolithic monument situated on the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland. The stones at this site are widely recognised as one of Scotland's most significant megalithic complexes and are highly sought-after by tourists. Here are some of the top attractions in and around Calanais Standing Stones:
Begin your visit at the Calanais Visitor Centre, where you can gather valuable information about the history and significance of the stones. The site is an excellent place to gain knowledge about the Neolithic culture that was responsible for its creation.
The main attraction at Calanais Standing Stones is, of course, the stone circle itself. The Calanais Stones are arranged in a cross-shaped pattern, featuring a central stone circle and an avenue of stones leading towards it. The ancient monument is rich in both mystery and history.
The Cairn of Calanais is a burial chamber located nearby, dating back to the Neolithic period. The ancient architecture is truly fascinating and serves as a wonderful complement to the stone circle.
The Dun Carloway Broch is a noteworthy historical site located on the Isle of Lewis. It dates back to the Iron Age. The location is conveniently close to the Calanais Stones, providing valuable insights into the history of the island.
Gearrannan Blackhouse Village provides a captivating insight into the traditional way of life on Scottish islands. This village is exceptionally well-preserved, allowing visitors to truly immerse themselves in the rich cultural heritage of the region. The blackhouses are historic buildings with thatched roofs, which create a fascinating contrast to the ancient stones.
Lews Castle and Grounds are situated in Stornoway. The castle, built during the Victorian era, is known for its captivating beauty. Additionally, the grounds surrounding the castle are equally impressive. This location is perfect for a relaxed stroll and for delving into the island's rich history.
The Isle of Lewis and Harris is renowned for its breathtaking beaches. Some of the popular beaches to visit in the area are Bosta Beach, Luskentyre Beach, and Uig Sands. The breathtaking turquoise waters and sandy shores are truly remarkable.
Visit the Scalpay Lighthouse by taking a short ferry ride to the nearby island of Scalpay. The lighthouse offers breathtaking views and is an ideal location for a picturesque stroll.
The Museum nan Eilean is situated in Stornoway and offers a comprehensive exploration of the culture, history, and archaeology of the Outer Hebrides. Visitors can gain valuable insights into various aspects, including the renowned Calanais Standing Stones.
The Outer Hebrides provide a range of outdoor activities, including hiking, bird watching, and wildlife spotting. In this region, you have the opportunity to explore the rugged landscapes, observe local wildlife, and appreciate the distinctive natural beauty it offers.
When you visit the Calanais Standing Stones and the surrounding areas, it is important to check the opening hours and any visitor guidelines. This is particularly crucial in case there are any changes or restrictions in place. The region is a distinctive and culturally significant area of Scotland, offering a captivating opportunity to delve into its local heritage and history.