- Callanish Latitude: 58.19816° N Longitude: -6.73804° E
- Callanish Postcode HS6
- Callanish WOEID 1248077
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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.