Callanish Standing Stones – A Scottish Treasure
The incredible highlight of the Isle of Lewis is one of Scotland’s most photographed attractions. It is an area steeped in history with an atmosphere to rival any of the world’s great archaeological sites. For many it is better than Stonehenge.
Within a short drive of Stornoway, the main site is principally 13 powerful pillars surrounding a monolith. It is thought that this site was constructed between 2900 and 2600 BC. It is suitably placed on a high ridge that overlooks Loch Roag with this location adding hugely to the mood of the visitor experience. Around 40 more stones are dotted about in all directions from the main site and roughly form the shape of a Celtic cross. The 5000 year old stones vary in height but the large ones are around 3-4 metres tall – truly icons of the Outer Hebrides.
See them in all their glory in this YouTube video.
Meaning of the Callanish Standing Stones
The million dollar question which we will probably never know the answer to for sure. The stories include that they represent giants who refused to accept Christianity and were turned to stone! Or perhaps it’s a UFO landing site? The more respected view though is that they were connected to lunar activity as some form of astronomical calendar. It is unclear exactly who put them there but the fact there are other similar Callanish stone sites in the area clearly suggest that it had huge ancient significance.
Lighting can make all the difference to your experience of the Callanish Standing Stones. The light at sunrise and sunset adds to the incredible atmosphere and aura of this part of the world. I challenge you to visit them alone on a misty evening and see if you don’t get a shiver!
Who needs the pyramids, eh?