Clachan Chalanais

Callanish Standing Stones (“Callanish I”), West Coast of Lewis, Outer Hebrides.

The Callanish Stones (or “Callanish I”), Clachan Chalanais or Tursachan Chalanais in Gaelic, are situated near the village of Callanish on the west coast of the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides.

Construction of the site occurred between 2900 BC and 2600 BC, though there were possibly earlier buildings before 3000 BC. A tomb was later built into the site. Debris from the destruction of the tomb suggests the site was unused between 2000 BC and 1700 BC. The thirteen primary stones form a circle about 13 m in diameter, with a long approach avenue of stones to the north, and shorter stone rows to the east, south, and west. The overall layout of the monument recalls a distorted Celtic cross. The individual stones vary from around 1 m to 5 m in height, with an average of 4 m, and are of the local Lewisian gneiss.

The first written reference to the stones was by Lewis native John Morisone, who in c. 1680 wrote that “great stones standing up in ranks […] were sett up in place for devotione”.

A distant view of the circle, stone rows, and part of the northern avenue.

Curator: Christian Clay Columba Campbell

Christian Clay Columba Campbell is a Roman Catholic of the Anglican Use. As Senior Warden of the Cathedral of the Incarnation (Orlando, FL), he organised the process by which the parish accepted the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum coetibus, petitioning to join the Catholic Church. The Anglican Cathedral is now the Church of the Incarnation in the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter. Personal queries should be directed to me at eccentricbliss dot com.

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