<![CDATA[ Lewis is full of ancient monuments, some older than others. I have visited the majority of the better known ones, such as Calanais. Everybody that visits Lewis * HAS * to visit Callanish. As I've explained quite some time ago, Callanish does not just consist of the one large monument on the top of the hill; there are about 20 associated sites within a 3 mile radius, some on the other side of the water to the west.
Another stone circle is at Garynahine / Gearraidh na h-Aibhne along the B8011 road to Uig and Bernera. What puzzles me is a stone circle east of Achamor, because I find it extremely hard to tell the difference between stones making up the monument and stray boulders.
Second on the list is the Carloway Broch, 7 miles north of Callanish, conspicuous to all who drive up from the south as that broken-off tooth on the skyline above Doune Carloway. It is an impressive monument and a tribute to those that built it, 2,100 years ago. The nearby visitor centre deserve a mention as well, because a valiant effort has been made to recreate life in the Broch as it happened all those centuries ago.
Four miles to the north stands the Blackhouse Village of Gearrannan, which was restored about 10 years ago. One of the houses was reinstated in the way it was in the 1950s; others have been kitted out to modern day specifications for self-catering lets.
Moving round the coast the Norse Mill is quite a demure affair, sitting in the valley of a river, flowing down to Loch na Muilne just outside Shawbost. The mill, powered by water, was in use not that long ago; 1950s I believe. People would come from nearby Shawbost to grind their corn &c. Nowadays, the mill is not in working order, but you can go into the building (bring a torch) to view its workings.
The next village, Bragar, has what's called Dun in the loch at South Bragar. These are fairly common in Northern Scotland. A Dun is a fort, sitting on an island in the loch, linked to the shore by means of a causeway, which is partially submerged and not lying in a straight line. Strangers would have great difficulty negotiated this wobbly path.
I nearly omitted the Arnol Blackhouse, north of Arnol proper, which shows life in the blackhouse as it used to be, quite some time ago. The peat fire smoking in the centre of the living area makes it a rather smokey experience.
Shooting through Barvas, the next village is Baile an Truseil, Village of the Stone. It is a monolith, standing totally isolated on the southern edge of the village, all of 20 ft high.
One river further up lies Shader, which also has a monument, the Steinacleit homestead. This is very ancient, going back 1,500 to 1,800 years BC. It is thought to be a burial mound, surrounded by a large oval ring of stones. In common with the Carloway Broch, it has a commanding position on a hilltop, overlooking Loch an Duine (like Bragar, it has a Dun in it). ]]>