It was definitely a first… I have never stood within one distinct stone circle and been able to look at two others on the near horizon. The stone circle of Callanish II, otherwise known as Cnoc Ceann a’Gharaidh, stands just three hundred feet from the shore of Loch Roag, within sight of the Callanish Stones, and nine hundred feet west of Callanish III. And you can feel it.
You have to wonder at their alignment, especially when you later realise that they are just one small grouping amongst nine stone circles within a ten mile radius… with at least another six known on this one small island.
The stones themselves are arranged in an elliptical ‘circle’ around a central cairn almost twenty-eight feet in diameter, which was almost certainly a burial mound. Many of the stones of the cairn have been scattered and it could easily be missed by the casual visitor… but there is a presence at this place that makes itself felt, millennia after the site was built.
Antiquarians explored the site in the nineteenth century, noting that the space within the stones was ‘causewayed’. Small holes, lined with pebbles were also found which were probably post holes and may have supported a wooden structure within the stones.
The place reminds me of a circle on the moors in Yorkshire that is thought to have been a place where the dead were prepared for burial. If that were so, then perhaps the presence of water, so close and separating this circle from the main monument of Callanish might be significant… the lands of the living held apart from the lands of the dead… though which would be which?
Continue reading at France & Vincent