Callanish Stone Circle – 2

The 6.4 metre long chambered tomb, in the central part of the circle, was almost certainly added after the circle was set up and was used for many centuries, as not only local pottery was found, but also Beaker vessels dating from 2000BC.

The central monolith stands 0.8 metres west of the true centre of the stone circle. The monolith is 4.8 metres high and 1.5 metres wide. This stone is on an almost perfect north to south axis, making me wonder how people 5,000 years ago could align a 7-tonne stone so accurately.

The avenue connects to the stone circle from the north-northeast and is just over 83 metres long. There are 19 stones remaining in the avenue: nine stones on the eastern side, ten on the western side. It’s tempting to think that some of the original stones might have been taken for building projects on the island as there seems to be no real consistency in the layout of the stones on the two sides of the avenue. The largest stone in the avenue is 3.5 metres high and stands on the western end of the row. The two rows are not parallel, but fan out the further away they get from the circle – at the north end the rows are 6.7 metres apart, but only 6 metres apart at the south end, nearer the stone circle. From the circle the height of the stones decreases towards the middle of the avenue; from there the height increases again.

Published by Julian Worker

Julian was born in Leicester, attended school in Yorkshire, and university in Liverpool. He has been to 94 countries and territories and intends to make the 100 when travel is easier. He writes travel books, murder / mysteries and absurd fiction. His sense of humour is distilled from The Marx Brothers, Monty Python, Fawlty Towers, and Midsomer Murders. His latest book is about a Buddhist cat who tries to help his squirrel friend fly further from a children's slide.

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