Isle of Albion
Satellite stone circle to Callanish on the Isle of Lewis.
Photographed: Sunday 11th July 2010
Other Names: Callanish II
Site rating:  

Cnoc Ceann a'Gharraidh (pronounced 'krok kyain a gaa-ree', and also known as 'Callanish II') is the remains of an elliptical arrangement of stones, five of which survive. It is believed that the ring originally contained ten stones and an additional outlier. The remaining stones range from around 1.8 to 3 metres in height. At one point, the ring enclosed a cairn, but little evidence of this can now be seen.

Cnoc Ceann a'Gharraidh lies between Callanish and Cnoc Fillibhear Bheag. This lends it an enviable position, nestled below the two finest stone circles on Lewis (both visible from here). In common with all the stones in this area, those at Cnoc Ceann a'Gharraidh are weather-worn and full of character. It would be easy to spend a whole day here observing how their textures change with the light.

The nearby ruined farmhouse and associated detritus somehow manage to avoid intruding upon the ambience of the site, simply adding to the desolate and empty character of the surrounding landscape. The (accurate) feeling is that this is a landscape hostile to humanity, where civilisation clings on only by the skin of its teeth. Like most of the sites on Lewis, this is very much a place of contemplation, and spending time here is a privilege.