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Druim Dubh - Isle of Lewis, Scotland
Stone Circle
National Grid Reference: NB 383 305

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How To Get There

Follow the A859 south out of Stornoway for about 3 miles. There will be turn to the left onto the B897, continue just past this to the "Half Way Garage". The remains of the circle are on the opposite side of the road, just a few metres onto the moor.

Druim Dubh, Lewis.

In 1991 local archaeologist Margaret Curtis was taking the bus into Stornoway. As the vehicle passed "The Half Way Garage" she noticed something away to the left of the road - an arc of stones. Almost unbelievably this is how the stone circle was discovered by somebody who has worked for years at Callanish and Achmore stone circles, just a few miles away from here.

Armed with a photocopy of a few pages out of "Current Archaeology" Linda and I made our way here one evening in August 1999. We too had passed the site a number of times in the previous couple of days without noticing the circle. The extra height of the bus from which it was spotted must have been significant. However as soon as we got off the road I spotted the tell tale signs and headed straight for an arc of fallen megaliths.

Druin Dubh, looking away to miles of peat moor.

Margaret and Ron Curtis followed the arc of the circle and probed the peat for signs of the missing stones. In all they discovered 16 fallen megaliths here forming a quite pronounced ellipse of some 29 metres long and 21 metres wide.

As at Achmore, a few miles inland from here, the stones had been felled in antiquity and covered by the peat. It is thought that the felling was in some ritual way a "decommissioning" of the site after beliefs had changed. There was probably enough respect for the ancient place not to totally destroy it, but just to lay it to rest.

I doubt that these stones will stand upright again, certainly not for many, many years to come if ever. The cost would be high, both financially and in terms of destroying vital evidence that future generations may be better equipped to retrieve.

When you see this circle, and the one at Achmore and then look at the landscape of Lewis you can't help but wonder how many more sites like this might be out there beneath the peat.

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