Scots Roots

Calanais (Callanish) Standing Stones
December 7, 2014, 5:38 pm
Filed under: Photographs, Scottish History | Tags: , , ,

Callanish 1 The stones stand on a low ridge by Loch Roag on the west coast of the Isle of Lewis.

A chambered tomb is surrounded by a circle of tall stones, the highest of which stands at 4.8 metres tall. Lines of smaller stones radiate out from this circle to the south, east and west, with an 83 metre long avenue formed by two lines of stones running to the north.

Callanish 2The main circle was erected 4,500 – 5,000 years ago and the chambered tomb some time afterwards. It is not clear whether the stone alignments were from the same time period or a later addition. Nor is it known what the purpose of the stones was although it is thought to be some kind of astronomical observatory.

There are a number of similar but smaller sites in the same vicinity and the area seems to have been a focus for religious activity for at least 1500 years.

Calanais was abandoned about a thousand years after it was built and the stones were eventually enveloped by peat until 1857 when the peat was cut and the full height of the stones was revealed.

The site is now maintained by Historic Scotland, an agency for the Scottish Government.

Callanish 3

To see more, please click on Ancient Scotland.

Copyright © Scots Roots Research 2014


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