Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Broch Dun Carloway, Standing Stones and St Moluag's

Later in the day on our third day sight seeing on the Isle of Lewis we came to a truly historic site - the broch at Dun Carloway, which the sign at the entrance says was probably erected by the native peoples at the time of the Roman occupation (43-400AD).  That sort of history blows my mind.  There has been restoration but it is discreet and I appreciated that iron bar above the entrance.

It's the best preserved broch in the Outer Hebrides.  I think it's great that people are still free to walk up to, touch and enter such an historic site.  And glad that I saw it when that was possible.  I suspect in years to come that will change in order to preserve the ruin.

There were a couple of other people there at the same time as us and I've used one of them to illustrate how low that doorway is.  If Graham had taken a photo of my butt as I entered I would not have been amused!

I only took the one photo of the broch from a distance so you'll just have to ignore the marks on my camera lens.

On my Bucket List had been the Standing Stones of Callanish.
During Neolithic period (4,000-2,000 BC) many communities across north-west Europe constructed large monuments of stone and earth.  Must have been the thing to do at the time.  It is unclear whether these monuments at Callanish were oriented according to astronomical events.  The stones aren't as big and impressive as those at Stonehenge but I enjoyed being there more.  I like being able to get up close and personal with such history, being able to touch.  And not having to worry about getting in someone else's way.

There were a few people there at the same time, half a dozen perhaps, hardly noticed them.  They helped to give a perspective of height.

A little later that same day (I think, the days are a bit jumbled in my memory) Graham surprised me completely.  He turned off the main road in the small township of Eoropie, right at the northern most point of the island, stopped and had a look around, backed up then pulled off the road to park.  I was peering around to see what was there.  Nothing.  Just an ordinary little town.  He pointed to a pathway beside one of the houses and, to my delight I could see at the end of the long path, a little church.  

Apparently it is still in use as a Scottish Episcopal Church.  (I've never seen a place with so many churches as rural Lewis.)   It is still acknowledged as a place of healing, especially for those with mental problems.  This is verified by a board with spiritual requests pinned to it. 

In days gone by if they couldn't get to the church to pray for healing, many would send wooden effigies of their afflicted parts.  The mind boggles!

Outside the church stands a Celtic Cross, a war memorial to the men who gave their lives in the first world war.

It was an opportunity to see those crofts that fascinated me up close.  At least the croft next to the walkway had inhabitants.



  1. What a lovely area. Callanish is very interesting and I had never heard of it. Your photos are fascinating and now I want to go there.

  2. I'd recommend them, Tabor. Especially if you like to get up close and personal with history.

  3. You didn't miss much. You had a good guide.
    Beautiful photos muck or no muck.

  4. I hope I didn't miss much, Adrian. I'm not likely to get back that way again. And, yes, Graham in a great guide, especially as he knows exactly what I like to see and do.

  5. Thanks for taking us along on your journey. There is so much to see there. I could stare at these for hours.

    Mersad Donko Photography

  6. Looks like you had an up close and interesting tour.

  7. Go on a tour and take photos. It feels like we are on the tour with you. I always wonder how they got the standing stones up. There must have been some skill we are not aware of.

  8. Nice indeed that people can still get so close to those historic places! And if you want a lot of churches, come down here to south Louisiana. We have churches on every street corner, seems like, of every stripe and denomination and kind you could imagine.

  9. Another great informative post, Pauline! As I said to Graham, I am loving reading both of your posts with the different perspectives on the same area.
    The Standing Stones are wonderful, and you had a perfect day for it... beautiful blue skies to contrast nicely with all that greenery!

  10. Those stones are amazing - I find the whole mythology around them fascinating. And like you, the distance the history reaches back absolutely blows my mind!


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