Calanais I
Callanish, Western Isles OS Map
Stone Circle; Stone Rows; Cairn Canmore
Also known as Callanish I

Calanais I is almost always a confusing jumble of megaliths when seen in photographs, as it is difficult to distinguish between stones that make up the circle, those that make up the main avenue, and those that are part of the other rows. In reality it is a truely stunning and beautiful monument--but perhaps still a jumble of megaliths.

Excavations have shown that the area was farmed more than 5000 years ago. Around 3000 BC the stone ring was set up and the central megalith erected. Sometime later a chambered cairn was constructed between this monolith and the east side of the ring. Sometime in the next two thousand years, stone rows were added to the south, east and west, and a long avenue to the north. The whole site was abandoned around 800 BC and gradually began to disappear beneath the peat.

The horizon to the southeast forms a silhouette like a person lying on their back, known sometimes as the "Sleeping Beauty" or "Cailleach na Mointeach" (The Old Woman of the Moors).

See also: Calanais II, Calanais III, Calanais IV and Calanais VIII.

Images ©1997, 1998, 2003, 2014 Martin McCarthy, Theasis Photography

Nearby Sites

0km Calanais II Stone Circle
1km Calanais III Stone Circle
3km Calanais IV Stone Circle
5km Calanais VIII Standing Stones
8km Dun Carloway Broch
10km Achmore Stone Circle
13km Shawbost Mill Norse Iron-Age Horizontal Mill
(NB: All distances are as-the-crow-flies. Lochs, mountains and beautiful winding roads will make it further. Sometimes much further.)