The Modern Antiquarian. Stone Circles, Ancient Sites, Neolithic Monuments, Ancient Monuments, Prehistoric Sites, Megalithic MysteriesThe Modern Antiquarian

Cnoc Fillibhear Bheag

Stone Circle


Saturday 3 May 2003
Easily visible from the A858 on the left approaching Calanais from Stornoway – just before a cattlegrid. Soon dubbed 'Philippa'(!) for convenience I'm afraid.

What a place. I first visited before I got my feelings for Callanish itself sorted out. This was no bad thing, as it allowed complete appreciation of this stunning circle and its 'special features' – see a23's fieldnotes for superbly expressed details!

To me, as well as the fascinating 'phallus & triple goddess' and 'Sleeping Beauty' phenomena, the most striking thing was how beautifully proportioned the circle, its stones and its setting in the landscape are. To me it also felt particularly 'open' and welcoming.

Julian comments in the big papery TMA that Callanish itself can easily overshadow the nearby sites. (I don't like calling them 'satellite' sites or any term that could belittle these wonderful places.) And he's probably right. But that's just a crying shame.

Yet to me, at Cnoc Fillibhir Bheag, Callanish does not truly dominate. It's higher up, bigger and 'more fancy', true, but 'Philippa' is also raised well above the land between herself and Callanish, with the remains of Cnoc Ceann a' Ghàrraidh lurking significantly more or less between the 2, on the low-lying moorland that separates them.

For me, the relationship between the 3 is intriguing.

Noteable is that like the other main 'Callanish' sites, there is a nearby 'low-key' equivalent of Callanish's Cnoc an Tursa. There is also a very significant looking 'v'-shaped gap in the hills looking south (in the centre of this picture).

Visited briefly again on Sunday 4 May, mainly to take more photos. Still in love with the place.
Moth Posted by Moth
29th August 2003ce
Edited 29th August 2003ce

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