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TITLE
Circle of Callanish
EXTERNAL ID
PC_PRISCUS_WCS6390
PLACENAME
Callanish
DISTRICT
Lewis
PERIOD
1890s
CREATOR
George Washington Wilson
SOURCE
Mark Butterworth - Priscus
ASSET ID
29624
KEYWORDS
Lewis
Hebrides
lochs
Bernera
megalith
cruciform
druids
circles
Calanais
temples
Stennes
Orkney
Stonehenge
Norse
sagas
worship
Thor
stones
sacrifices
executions
Circle of Callanish

This photograph was taken by Scottish photographer George Washington Wilson (1823-93) and was used to illustrate talks he gave on Highland history. The following description is taken from Washington Wilson's own lecture notes.

At the head of one of the inlets in Loch Bernera is a megalithic, cruciform, Druidical Circle, called the Circle of Callernish. This Druidical temple is one of the largest, as well as one of the most complete of its kind in Scotland. The total number of stones, when the temple was complete, was sixty-five, of which about forty-five are still standing, ranging from sixteen to four feet in height.

In the immediate neighbourhood are several smaller circles, some of them, however, being as large as fifty feet in diameter. The circle occupies a striking position in an open track of moor, and appears to have been surrounded at a small distance by a trench or ditch, which is now in many places obscured, the same as at Stenneshouse, Orkney, and Stonehenge, England. It is thought by some that these circles may have been places of worship, erected by the Norsemen, as in some of the Northern Saga; the temple of Thor is described as a circular range of upright stones, containing a central stone, called the stone of Thor, where the sacrifices or executions were performed.

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Circle of Callanish

1890s

Lewis; Hebrides; lochs; Bernera; megalith; cruciform; druids; circles; Calanais; temples; Stennes; Orkney; Stonehenge; Norse; sagas; worship; Thor; stones; sacrifices; executions

Mark Butterworth - Priscus

Imaging the Past

This photograph was taken by Scottish photographer George Washington Wilson (1823-93) and was used to illustrate talks he gave on Highland history. The following description is taken from Washington Wilson's own lecture notes.<br /> <br /> At the head of one of the inlets in Loch Bernera is a megalithic, cruciform, Druidical Circle, called the Circle of Callernish. This Druidical temple is one of the largest, as well as one of the most complete of its kind in Scotland. The total number of stones, when the temple was complete, was sixty-five, of which about forty-five are still standing, ranging from sixteen to four feet in height.<br /> <br /> In the immediate neighbourhood are several smaller circles, some of them, however, being as large as fifty feet in diameter. The circle occupies a striking position in an open track of moor, and appears to have been surrounded at a small distance by a trench or ditch, which is now in many places obscured, the same as at Stenneshouse, Orkney, and Stonehenge, England. It is thought by some that these circles may have been places of worship, erected by the Norsemen, as in some of the Northern Saga; the temple of Thor is described as a circular range of upright stones, containing a central stone, called the stone of Thor, where the sacrifices or executions were performed.