Callanish is quite simply a stunning place. At its centre is a 5m tall standing stone, at the base of which is a later chambered cairn (with two chambers). Surrounding this central stone is a circle of stones, and radiating out from this circle are rows of standing stones making the form of a cross – single rows of stones to the west, south and east, and a double row of stones (much longer than the other rows) forming an avenue to the north.
Until the middle of the 19th century the peat level was 1.5m higher than it is today. The peat was tripped away in 1857 to reveal the chambered cairn and the full height of the stones.
Callanish totally dominates the surrounding landscape, standing on a hill above the straight between Loch Roag and Loch Ceann Hulabhig. Its importance is clear not only from its sheer size and complexity, but also from the number of ancient sites nearby which are aligned to it.
Alternative names for Callanish
Calanais; Callanish I; Callanish 1; Classerniss; Cnoc An Tursa; Tursachan Callernish