As I mentioned earlier, I recently visited the Callanish Stones with my family. I don’t have any pictures from that visit but there are plenty of other places on the intertubes where you can find some pictures of this ancient stone circle (well it’s not so much a circle as it is a sort of a cross). A quick Google should find some of those pictures for you but to save you time you can go here, here and here (this last one is a nice 360 degree panorama requiring Quicktime to view it).
After a refreshment stop at the visitor centre for tea, coffee, cake and coke, we wandered up the small hill to the stones themselves. It always strikes me that the stones seem to be smaller than I expect, which may be a remnant of my childhood visits when they seemed absolutely massive as a result of me being so small, and then I remember that for them to stay upright there must be a fair amount of their length hidden beneath the surface.
The stones are laid out in a sort of Celtic cross with the remains of a small chamber (a burial mound) at their centre. I don’t know if the layout of the cross marks important times in the solar and lunar calendars, but I do find myself wondering why our ancestors raised the stones. There must be some significance in the layout, as erecting this monument would have required an enormous amount of effort, but perhaps it is something we can never really know.
There is certainly a profound sense of age and a kind of mystic wonder when you move among the stones. The kind of thing that really makes you aware of your place in history and how short a period you are actually here – even in comparison to a collection of standing stones.
For more info on the Callanish Stones check out these pages:
- Notes on Callanish from ‘Going Round in Circles’, and;
- Callanish – the standing stones and stone circle at Callanish, with the astronomical orientations.