Archaeologists are excavating the remains of houses believed to date back 2,000 years after they were uncovered by a ferocious storm.
Fife-based charity Scottish Coastal Archaeology and the Problem of Erosion (Scape) is leading a community project at the site on North Uist... continues...
Folklore connecting the stones with the Fianna: I'm not sure which particular sites might be referred to but you may know specifically?
Here in S. Uist are places which we call 'Sorrachd Choire Fhinn.' Up yonder on the hillside are four great stones upon which they set their great kettle, and there are plenty of other places of the same kind. (The square is made with four large flat stones on edge, the sides being set N.S.E.W., five feet by three, inside the oblong. Near this monument are several fallen menhir, tall standing stones.)
The standing stones which you may see in these islands we call Ord Mhaoraich or Ord Bharnaich, bait hammers or limpet hammers. People say that they used these to knock off limpets and pound shells, as we use stones now; but that I do not believe. They say that one of them threw one from the shore up to the hillside near the north end of South Uist, but that cannot be true.
From 'The Fionn Saga' by George Henderson, in 'The Celtic Review' July 15th 1905.
This folklore refers to South Uist, and is from Martin's 'Description of the Western Isles of Scotland' (a tour which he undertook in 1695). It's a shame but I cannot work out where Gleann 'Slyte' must be.
There are several big cairns of stone on the east side this island, and the vulgar retain the ancient custom of making a religious tour round them on Sundays and holidays.
There is a valley between two mountains on the east side called Glenslyte, which affords good pasturage. The natives who farm it come thither with their cattle in the summer time, and are possessed with a firm belief that this valley is haunted by spirits, who by the inhabitants are called the great men; and that whatsoever man or woman enters the valley without making first an entire resignation of themselves to the conduct of the great men will infallibly grow mad. The words by which he or she gives up himself to these men's conduct are comprehended in three sentences, wherein the glen is twice named, to which they add that it is inhabited by these great men, and that such as enter depend on their protection.
I told the natives that this was a piece of silly credulity as ever was imposed upon the most ignorant ages, and that their imaginary protectors deserved no such invocation. They answered that there had happened a late instance of a woman who went into that glen without resigning herself to the conduct of these men, and immediately after she became mad, which confirmed them in their unreasonable fancy.
As you cross the causeway over to Berneray there is a hill right in front of you, a small modern cairn crowns its summit. Park, jump fence, go up, pass little cairn and the standing stone is quite visible, at 8ft6 you wont miss it.
A mucho complicato place this(that's Italian, don't ask me why), the stone is tall and fine and by shape almost stolen from Stenness, hoary moss and yellow lichen occupy the upper half of it, fantastic views of distant hills and white sandy beaches.
Now the complicato, right next to the menhir is a rectangular structure, canmore says it's a very old chapel, they also have an aerial picture showing the stone and chapel sitting in a large oval/squarish enclosure, apparently an old burial ground, they then go on to call the whole structure a Cashel, like what they have in Ireland.
Then they say that part of the enclosure wall could once have been a cairn.
So there was much going on here over a long period of time, which is nice.
Just over the hill is a possible chambered cairn, it's not on my map but i'm still kicking myself for not having the time or the wits to find it.
This is very a nice place, we lay down among the wild flowers and watched birds and flying insects whooshing about, rested our heads on the chapel wall, of course we didnt know it at the time.
The two big stones that one immediately sees are not the standing stones your looking for, they are there only to confuse us, and they do a good job of it. The two standing stones are the ones on the mounds, conjoined mounds no less, from the road the stone on the right is still up and the one on the left is having a lie down.
So I think Carl did find and see the stones, he just didn't believe in himself.
Not much else you can say about them, they're small, probably best to go across to Berneray and have a look at Cladh Maolrithe standing stone, it's a good one.