Year of Natural Scotland 2013

By John MacLean, 26/07/13


Callanish Stones in snow, Lewis


One of my panoramic photos of the Callanish Stones in snow has been included in Our Dynamic Earth’s current photographic exhibition on Scotland’s natural environment, showing in Edinburgh until Christmas.
[Photo: Our Dynamic Earth]


Database photos

By John MacLean, 19/04/12:


New photos have been added to the database, including images from the Uists, Eriskay & Barra. A visit to the huge chambered cairn at Barpa Langass, North Uist was the archaeological highlight of my recent trip to the Uists and Barra.

Beyond this and other celebrated sites such as the standing stones at Calanais and the broch at Dun Carloway, the Outer Hebrides is rich in history and archaeology: there are hundreds of lesser known sites dotted around the landscape which give us a glimpse back into the early history of the islands.

Among the photographic projects planned for the near future are recording in high resolution some of the many sites of archaeological and historical interest in the Western Isles, including standing stones, chambered cairns, brochs, etc.





Callanish quarry / fallen stone circle

By John MacLean, 09/08/11:


Well worth a visit, after seeing the main standing stone circles at and near Callanish, is the set of stones on the hills (often called Na Dromannan or Druim nan Eun) to the east of Callanish village (waterproof footwear advisable). This consists of a number of large stones, some broken, measuring up to 10 feet in length. Some of the packing stones used to erect them on the bedrock are still in place.


                                    Callanish, Isle of Lewis           Callanish, Isle of Lewis


The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland (RCAHMS) describes the stones as being part of a fallen circle and it is thought by some that this rocky exposed knoll was where the stones of the circles still standing today were quarried and prepared.

       Excavation of this stone circle involved the removal of a covering blanket of peat and revealed that the circle comprised an outer ring of seventeen stones and an inner ring of five. Though at least two of the stones are missing, all of them had fallen, having been quarried on site and no more than chocked upright with packing stones directly onto the bedrock. The packing stones, fallen monoliths, some of which are broken, and the outcrops from which they were quarried remain exposed. (RCAHMS, 2009)