Callanish Standing Stones - Isle of Lewis April 2016

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. Some 1,000 years later a crypt or chambered cairn was added in the centre. This was despoiled some 500 years later and then transformed into a house, an indication of the mixed uses to which the site has been put over the millennia. The long process by which it became enveloped in a blanket of peat began around 800 bc. The full extent of this awesome henge was not revealed again until 1857/8, when Sir James Matheson removed 1.5 m of bog.


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