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Calanais, Isle of Lewis, Scotland by Andy Hemingway

The huge stones of Calanais stand on the west coast of the Isle of Lewis, over looking Loch Roag in the Outer Hebrides. They date from the late Neolithic era, around 2900-2600BC and are composed of a central circle of stones surrounding a burial chamber. Four stone avenues radiate out from the circle in the shape of a rudimentary cross. The northern avenue is composed of two rows forming what appears to be a processional walkway.

The stones are said to be aligned to a phenomenon that occurs every 18.6 years at the major moon standstill when the moon appears to be reborn inside the circle. 'The Shining One' is said to walk the avenue early on midsummer morning, his arrival signalled by the first call of the cuckoo.

Local folklore names the stones as 'fir bhreige' or the false men. They were said to be giants who were turned to stone by St Keiran when they refused to convert to Christianity.

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About Author 


Born and raised on the Pennine Hills in West Yorkshire, my love of landscape began early. My work is very much informed by the history and folklore of the locations that I photograph.

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