"Plans to build the largest onshore wind farm in Europe have been approved by Comhairle nan Eilean Siar (Western Isles Council).
An application by Lewis Wind Power for a 209 turbine wind farm in North Lewis, costing £400m, was passed by 19 votes to eight on Wednesday evening.
It was approved despite more than 4,000 objections... continues...
At the head of one of the inlets in Loch Benera is a megalithic cruciform, Drudicial circle, called the Circle of Callernish. This Druidicial temple is one of the largest, as well as one of the most complete of its kind in Scotland. The total number of stones, when the temple was complete, was sixty five, of which about forty five are still standing, ranging from sixteen to four feet tall.
In the immediate neighbourhood are several smaller circles, some of them, being as large as fifty feet in diameter. The circle occupies a striking position in an open track of moor, and appears to have been surrounded at a small distance by a trench or ditch, which is now in many places obscured, the sames as at Stenneshouse, Orkney and Stonehenge, England. It is thought by some that these stone circles may have been places of worship, erected by the Norsemen, as in some Northern sagas; the temple of Thor is described as a circular range of upright stones, containing a central stone, called the stone of Thor, where the sacrifices or executions were performed.
Destination St Kilda 'From Oban to Skye and the Outer Hebrides'
George Washington Wilson and Norman MacLeod edited by Mark Butterworth
The broch or galleried dun is on a small islet in Loch Bharabhat. The approach is a 600m walk from the road (B8059) into Bernera, crossing over the bridge into the island from the Lewis mainland. Accessibility but worthwhile. The dun was robbed early last century to build a sheep dipping tank, but sufficient remains to the site one of great interest. Dun Bhatabhat is an 'island dun', a defensive structure built on a small island with a 33m long causeway approach; it is one of a number of such structures to be found in the Western Isles.
Recent excavations have produced some surprises. Far from being the simple (i.e. solid walled) dun as recorded much earlier this century, it has features akin to a broch. One radio carbon date suggests 650BC for a primary structure and another, around 100BC, indicates a secondary occupation before abandonment. What is interesting about these dates is that they are earlier than the dating plan suggested for duns on the Scottish Atlantic coast.
The dun once had a double set of walls, like a broch, with a stair case in one intra mural gallery. At some time in the dun's history there w2as a second structure outside its walls which now lies in the waters of Loch Bharabhat. This has proved to be an excellent time capsule from which various objects have been recovered, pieces of heather rope, animal bones and straw, all of which have to be correctly assessed and placed in an appropriate time context.
The whole site is of interest because the underwater excavation complements the work being carried out on the land based dun and is the first time the two techniques have been used hand in hand.
About one quarter of the dun wall still survives to a height of 3m and is about 2.4m thick. A lower gallery is visible with a chamber at intermediate height.
This site is in Loch an Dun, near Lower Bayble on the Eye Peninsula. However impressive it might have been in its day, it is now in a completely ruinous state, being roughly a circular mass of stone. The site is connected to the mainland by a man-made causeway about 1m wide. Some imagination is need to identify parts of the dun's outward wall, close to the water level, which seems to have been solid rather than galleried.
This site, known as Dun Bharclin on the OS map, is rather inaccessible, being on a small islet just south of Risay Island in Loch Luirbost. The dun seems to have consisted of walls built round the edge of the islet but which are now a mass of tumbled stone, 4m broad in places. A 1914 report on the site stated that many stones has been removed to Stornaway for building purposes.
This promontory juts out into the Atlantic Ocean and is well placed for a defensive structure with outlooks to both north and south. It is joined to Lewis mainland by a narrow neck of land across which a massive stone wall has been erected, the stones of which are now a tumbled mass spread over an area which is nearly 9m wide in places, indicating the original strength of the structure. The entrance to the promontory was at the south end of the wall at a wide gap between the wall end and the cliff edge.
This site is now a setting of seven kerbstones lying in a circle some 20m in diameter. The possible remains of the chamber consist of four large slabs and what could be a fallen capstone. The whole site has been badly robbed of its original material but is well worth a visit if only to appreciate the location of the monument and its setting.