- Shawbost - Stone Circle | 2024 Archive

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Shawbost - Isle of Lewis, Scotland
Stone Circle
National Grid Reference: NB 234 463

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How To Get There

From Callanish head north along the A858, past Dun Caloway and continue for about another 3 miles. You should see Loch Raoinebhat just to the left of the road. Drive just past the end of the loch and take a left into a car park for the "Norse Mill". Go through the gate and follow a rough path along the northern shore of the loch. Proper walking gear recommended. The stones can be tricky to spot, use the cairn on the island as a landmark (the cairn is on the extreme right of the island in the photograph shown to the left).

The hunt for this circle was one of the most pleasurable hours we spent on Lewis. As you can see from the photograph we had the benefit of wonderful weather. I don't think that I would enjoy the hike so much in foul weather. Whatever the weather, proper walking gear is recommended here. The path around the loch could be quite dangerous at certain points in slippy conditions. Also remember that much of the walk will be over peat bog which was reasonably dry at the start of August for our visit. The walk from the car park took us about 15 to 20 minutes in these conditions. Please be careful not to damage any walls or fences or wildlife. You shouldn't have to climb over any fences or walls to reach the circle if you follow the directions at the top of the page. There might well be shorter routes to the circle, but this one gives you a wonderful view.

Only two stones remain upright at this site, one of those leans at quite an angle. Of the remaining stones some are lying on the surface, some have been robbed away and others are left in fragments. The two standing stones shown in the photograph protrude about 4 feet above the peat. The circle described by these two survivors and the fallen and broken stones that are still visible is around 30 metres in diameter. There might once have been 12 stones here, and there were certainly more of them intact within living memory. It is thought that some were robbed from the site in the 1940's for house building.

Maybe the remains of this circle are not as impressive now as the mighty Callanish away to the south, but Shawbost rewards the visitor with an excellent walk and the fun of "discovering" the fallen and broken stones. You can't really beat a setting like this either.

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This prehistoric site has been rescued for historical reasons by History X's archive