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Lewis, Shader Riverside

Stone Circle (Neolithic)-(Bronze Age)(Possible)

Site Name Lewis, Shader Riverside

Classification Stone Circle (Neolithic)-(Bronze Age)(Possible)

Canmore ID 274232

Site Number NB35SE 63

NGR NB 3803 5433

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number AC0000807262. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

  • Council Western Isles
  • Parish Barvas
  • Former Region Western Isles Islands Area
  • Former District Western Isles
  • Former County Ross And Cromarty

Archaeology Notes

NB35SE 63 3803 5433

There is evidence for the former existence of a stone circle about 42m diameter, probably consisting of nine standing stones and possibly with an internal setting. This evidence is in the form of stone slabs, broken stones (some of which are lying over voids), and groups of possible packing stones. There are at least five positions spread around the perimeter where megaliths may have stood. Gaps suggest at least three more positions.

A survey was made of the area to show the positions of the visible stones, and probing was undertaken to ascertain the full outlines of these and of any adjacent buried stones, and to record their main dimensions. The largest slab is 1.55 x 0.9m.

The circle is located on rough grazing land on the left bank of the Shader River, opposite Upper Shader Croft 3, about 110m upstream of the stepping stones, and about 250m downstream of Creagan Carrach (see p 132-3). It stood on a possible flood plain composed mainly of glacial till, from which any peat has long since been removed. The land is low lying, less than 10m above sea level. The centre of the circle is about 27m from the left bank of the river.

Almost all of the megaliths have disappeared, and probably many of the packing stones, possibly within the last few centuries. Before 1850, a dam was built 80m upstream and a mill was built 120m downstream, with a lade and training walls between them along the right bank. In the late 19th century crofts and blackhouses were established along the right bank of the river. It is not surprising that most of the standing stones which could have been used as lintels, or could have been split into lintels, have disappeared. There are several split stones in the vicinity with drill holes and metal wedges still in them. In addition, floods may have occurred here that may have washed away the supporting material for packing stones.

From this circle virtually all the Trushal Stone is visible, and the stone circle which once surrounded it would have been visible on the horizon, 740m away. At midwinter, the prehistoric setting sun would have set into the circle around the Trushal Stone (DES 2002, 119).

M R Curtis and G R Curtis 2004.


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