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Lewis, Achmore

Stone Circle (Neol/bronze Age)(Possible)

Site Name Lewis, Achmore

Classification Stone Circle (Neol/bronze Age)(Possible)

Alternative Name(s) Achmore Stone Circle

Canmore ID 4232

Site Number NB32NW 2

NGR NB 3174 2926

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

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

Archaeology Notes

NB32NW 2 3174 2926.

In an area some 30m across by the edge of a currently worked peat bank were a standing stone in a peaty mound, the stump of a stone with its upper part lying by it, and some dozen fallen or natural slabs similar in size to the standing stone, which might be interpreted as lying on a roughly oval perimeter still half below deep peat.

P J Ashmore 1981.

Limited pear clearnace exposed further megaliths and groups of packing stones. Prehistoric soil levels were left undisturbed, 18 stones lie close to the perimeter of a true circle of 41m diameter.

G Ponting and M Ponting 1981.

Previously suspected megalith on circle perimeter exposed during peat cutting 1982.

M Ponting 1983.

Peat column samples were taken for prospective pollen and C-14 analyses. Some broken parts of fallen megaliths were re-erected.

M MacRae, M Ponting and G R Curtis 1984.

Further weathering has exposed and dislodged the megalith and its packing stones, reported in 1983. Parts of several re-erected megaliths have been scattered.

M R Ponting and G R Curtis 1988.

Continued cutting of the peat bank has removed most of the remaining peat surrounding and protecting the stone reported in 1983 and its packing stones, and has threatened the packing stones of the adjacent standing stone (missing). Further cutting will soon destroy several more of these stone settings.

G R Curtis and M R Curtis 1989d.

One more stone hole (probably the last) of the circle has been exposed as a result of peat cutting. There are two stones, possibly packing stones, 50cm and 40cm long. The stone exposed in 1982 has subsided to an angle of 30 degrees to the horizontal despite an island of uncut peat around it.

M R Curtis and G R Curtis 1994d.


Field Visit (2009)

NB 317 292 For many years the tip of one megalith of the stone circle has been identifiable protruding from 1.1m deep peat. It is not vertical, but at an angle, suggesting that the megalith leans at a slope of about c45° outwards from the circle. Peat cutting in 2009 reached the base of the megalith and removed half of its socket hole. Eight packing stones were partially or totally exposed, of which at least three are now dislodged. They are up to 0.32 x 0.21 x 0.32m in size. Only part of the upper face of the megalith was exposed. It is 0.70m wide at the base of the peat bank, up to 0.63m high and 0.10m thick at one edge. With the exposed tip of the megalith 0.45m long, 0.77m hidden in uncut peat, 0.20m below

the base of the cut peat, the megalith must be at least 2.05m tall. A gritty peat halo indicates disintegration of the surface of the megalith. The packing stones are in two or more layers, as at another megalith at Achmore stone circle. There may have been 0.2–0.4m of peat growth when the megalith was erected, the softness of the peat creating the need for the extra support of two levels of packing stones. Peat has grown more around the megalith than elsewhere, forming a mound 1.1m deep rather than 0.55m. This natural phenomenon was also noted at Druim Dubh stone circle (DES 1992, 84). There is the opportunity for excavation of the remaining half of the socket hole, with identification of the cut for the socket hole, pollen analysis, radiocarbon dating etc, before further destruction by weathering and peat cutting. This is the last megalith at Achmore, Callanish 22, where such an opportunity remains.

M R Curtis 2009

Field Visit (2010)

NB 317 292

Peat cutting in 2010 totally exposed the upper face of the sloping megalith partly exposed in 2009 (DES 2009, 182–183). It is 1.44m tall, 0.86m at its widest and is 0.08m thick. There is a broken piece at one side. The top may have been broken deliberately, as has one of the other megaliths. (See Achmore Stone Circle, 20, 21). The trenches in which some megaliths were located (DES 1981, 51) had become

filled with water. The peat cutter/crofter cut channels in 2010 to drain the water, re-exposing several megaliths.

M R Curtis 2010


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