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Kerbed Cairn

<b>Sildinis</b>Posted by MothImage © Tim Clark
This site is of disputed antiquity. If you have any information that could help clarify this site's authenticity, please post below or leave a post in the forum.
Nearest Town:Stornoway (19km NE)
OS Ref (GB):   NB287189 / Sheets: 13, 14
Latitude:58° 4' 33.54" N
Longitude:   6° 36' 7.89" W

Added by Vicster

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Note that the site is actually to the right (south) of the B8060 - I think the OS ref must be slightly 'out'. I'd say more like NB286189 by my guess.

Access Not good for people with limited mobility. The hill is reasonably short, but fairly steep. Probably boggy & maybe slippery in the wet/damp.

Approaching on the B8060 from Sildinis, park at the second loop of old road on the right (south) of the present road. (The first one seems just to be marked as a path on the Landranger, but on the ground - & the Explorer, I think - it looks more like a bit of old road.

Probably best to park by & use the second gate on the right of the disused road. You should be able to see the 2 stones protruding from the mound on the nearest hilltop. Just go for it!

14 July 2006 Talking to Margaret Curtis in the morning, she suggested we see what we think of this site, while we were in the area visiting Fangs circle. As it happened, I had the TMA page printed out, but didn't register that it was the same place until I checked later!

Juamei & I immediately agreed that it looked genuinely ancient but neither part seemed really like a 'pure' stone circle, which I believe it is being reported as. (This was also what it was noted as on this website at the time.)

The circular setting is very small, with fairly small stones, and pretty wholly uncharacteristic of the stone circles in the area. In many ways, it seemed to us more like the kerb of a cairn, though the stones are far from contiguous - in fact fairly widely spaced for the size of the circle. There are also some stones within the circle that could possibly be the remnants of a cist. (Not that that rules out 'stone circle' in those parts!)

The other 'monument' is another interesting one. At first glance, it immediately screamed "cairn!" at me. But on closer inspection, some of the stone further down the mound that appears to be kerb material, is in fact bedrock. And the 2 stones protruding from the 'mound' seem kind of out of place if the mound represents a fair proportion of the remains of a cairn.

So perhaps these are meant to protrude and there should be more - like the neighbouring circular setting. It was interesting to note that they seemed, at least superficially to point towards Sleeping Beauty's feet, where Fangs circle lies....

Discussing the site afterwards with Margaret, we got the impression that she is dubious over whether either of the settings is a stone circle, but she did NOT seem to doubt that they are ancient. At mentions of kerb circles and cairns there was much nodding, as if this is her suspicion.
Moth Posted by Moth
19th July 2006ce
Edited 19th July 2006ce

I first heard about this site from my friend who lives close by. He sent me some pictures which made me think it was a new find - 2 circles on Lewis and on the east side of the island. Pretty exciting stuff!

When I visited last week, I wasn't so sure. As you approach, you can see 2 stones standing on top of the hill. Nothing unusal there as many Lewis circles are on prominent ridges.....but when I reached the site, some doubts kicked in. The complete circle is almost too perfect and is obviously man-made but I cannot be sure of its age. Mind you, I am no archaeologist, but it just looks like it is too precise and perfect.

The second circle actually looked more like a kerb cairn to my untrained eye but may well be a small, slightly ruinous circle. I have put up these pictures and fieldnotes to let others see and possibly give some insight.

Oh, and Margaret Curtis isn't convinced (but maybe that's because she is peeved she didn't find them first! lol!) However, a report is soon to be published by the archaeologist who has been working on the site so maybe I will wait until I read it to come to a final decision.

Directions; travelling south down the island you will pass through Ballallan (Baile Ailein). There is a sign for a pub on the left hand side as you pass through the village and a left hand turn signed posted South Lochs. Take this turn and follow the road past the pub on your left (and the standing stone put up recently by a local on your right). On the right hand side is an unmarked road which leads to a cattle grid. The hill is straight ahead of you (park here) and you can see the 2 stones on the hilltop. It is a 5 minute scrabble up the hill (boggy peatland, be prepared).
Vicster Posted by Vicster
15th June 2006ce