Thursday, 24 August 2006

Clach an Truiseil

<![CDATA[ Clach an TruiseilThis is the Truiseal stone, a 18'10" [5.7 m] high monolith in the small village of Baile an Truiseil [Ballantrushal], some 2 miles north of Upper Barvas, here in Lewis. Pronounce the CH as you would the CH in LOCH.

It's not terribly well sign-posted on the tourist trail, although it does boast of a picknick table. Was not tempted to use it this afternoon, in the midst of a steady procession of rain showers marching north.

The Truiseal stone is reputed to have been a man in by-gone days, who had been turned to stone. A passer-by had heard the stone proclaim in sepulchral tones:

A Truisealach am I after the Fiann;
Long is my journey behind the others;
My elbow points to the west
And I am embedded to my oxters.

Some 20 miles to the southwest stand the much better known Callanish Stones. When you visit the site, there are a number of explanatory plaques, conjecturing about possible use of the Stones. But what I have to make of their by-name in Gaelic - Na Fir Bhreige [The Deceitful Men], I can only guess.

[Source: Lewis - A History of the Island, Donald MacDonald, 1978] ]]>

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