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Archaeology Notes

Event ID 845042

Category Descriptive Accounts

Type Archaeology Notes


NB23SW 82 2218 3484

NB 2218 3484. An unrecorded stone circle was discovered in the village of Breasclete, adjacent to Callanish, consisting of an ellipse 48.2m long and 40.8m wide - the largest stone circle in the Callanish area. It originally had at least 15 megaliths, four of which lie on the surface along an arc of 75o.

The buried megaliths, packing stones and socket holes were probed, and the whole ring surveyed in 2001-03.

Four prone megaliths lie over their socket holes and provide the main visible evidence of the ring. (There are prominent packers at a 5th position on the same arc.) One complete megalith lies under a permanent puddle. The megaliths are up to 1.9m in length. Four megaliths are broken and partly missing. The other six megaliths are missing.

The hollows for the 15 megaliths have been located. Many packing stones remain in situ and more have been displaced and used in a low field wall. Hollows for some missing packers have been located.

The ring is located on the flattish crest of a ridge which runs approximately N-S. At the S end of the ridge there is a hillock with a stone setting at NB 2220 3475 (see same name in DES 1995, 110).

It is probable that the stone circle was robbed and many of the megaliths were used as lintels for houses or as flat spans for foot bridges in the 18th century, when peat was cut and the land developed for agricultural use. The low wall which runs diagonally across the circle and separates two crofts contains broken pieces of megalith and probable packers. There is now no local memory or place-name evidence of the circle.

Associated with the stone circle, and an integral part of this megalithic site, are two backsight positions located on other crofts. One backsight location is at c NB 221 350 and provides a view of the 'Sleeping Beauty' hills framed by the stone circle, c 225m away. The other is at NB 2223 3498 and gives a view of the Langadale Valley in the Harris hills through the centre of the stone circle, c 130m away.

The kerb cairn at Olcote, Breasclete Park, Callanish, had its first entrance aligned towards the avenue at Callanish 1, 1.8km away, and can be regarded as part of the main site. Its first entrance was later blocked and its second entrance aligned towards this newly found stone circle, 400m away.

(Further details in NMRS).

M R Curtis and G R Curtis 2003.

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