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


The Macleod Stone

Standing Stone / Menhir

<b>The Macleod Stone</b>Posted by KammerImage © Simon Marshall
Also known as:
  • Clach Mhic Leòid
  • Nisabost

Nearest Town:Uig (49km ESE)
OS Ref (GB):   NG040971 / Sheet: 18
Latitude:57° 51' 54.41" N
Longitude:   6° 59' 31.82" W

Added by notjamesbond

Discussion Topics0 discussions
Start a topic

Show map   (inline Google Map)

Images (click to view fullsize)

Add an image Add an image
<b>The Macleod Stone</b>Posted by drewbhoy <b>The Macleod Stone</b>Posted by drewbhoy <b>The Macleod Stone</b>Posted by drewbhoy <b>The Macleod Stone</b>Posted by Island Wanderer <b>The Macleod Stone</b>Posted by Island Wanderer <b>The Macleod Stone</b>Posted by GLADMAN <b>The Macleod Stone</b>Posted by tiompan <b>The Macleod Stone</b>Posted by rockartwolf <b>The Macleod Stone</b>Posted by Vicster <b>The Macleod Stone</b>Posted by Vicster <b>The Macleod Stone</b>Posted by Vicster <b>The Macleod Stone</b>Posted by Kammer <b>The Macleod Stone</b>Posted by Kammer <b>The Macleod Stone</b>Posted by greywether <b>The Macleod Stone</b>Posted by greywether <b>The Macleod Stone</b>Posted by notjamesbond <b>The Macleod Stone</b>Posted by notjamesbond <b>The Macleod Stone</b>Posted by the wicken


Add fieldnotes Add fieldnotes
Walking further westwards on the A859 from the Coire Na Feinne Chamber Cairn we jumped the fence at the next cattle grid to head north over the dunes towards the MacLeod Stone. A few days before I'd been looking at several sites in the area but ran out of time but not today. Although we were all tired, even B, we plodded on to be re-invigorated when crossing the ridge to see the massive standing stone.

Not many people mention the possible wee cairn that surrounds the stone. There are at least two kerbs still earthfast in an area that has a scatter of stones almost 6m wide. Canmore says there isn't enough evidence but ever the optimist I'd like to think there had been a cairn at some point. One thing for sure is the fact that the stone can be seen for miles away coming in from the Atlantic.

Fantastic stone, fantastic scenery, fantastic day and some sun burnt legs!

Visited 3/8/2017.
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
25th September 2017ce
Edited 25th September 2017ce

Visited 29.5.12

The ’24 hour bug’ which was affecting Karen and Sophie earlier on in the day was now starting to affect me. After a lovely couple of hours on the beach I could see the standing stone from the roadside; away in the distance on the headland.
The lay by with the bench next to it is still there but the sign for the stone has gone.

To be honest I didn’t feel up to walking out to the stone and was going to settle for a long distance view with my binoculars but after some prompting from Karen I decided to go for it!

It is a 10 minute walk to the stone but across the sand dunes it is wearing on the legs. On the way back I took the easier route along the beach. By the time I got to the stone I was knackered but it well worth it.

The stone is about 4 metres tall and 1.5 metres across. The seaward side of the stone is covered in ‘hairy’ green lichen.

Although the stone is well worth a visit in its own right it is the scenery which captivates you. Harris has to be the most beautiful island I have ever been to. Blue sky, turquoise crystal clear water and white sandy deserted beaches – pity the water is so cold!

Both the Macleod stone and the nearby Sgarasta stone are well worth visiting when on Harris. Do it – do it now!!
Posted by CARL
29th June 2012ce

2009 excavation of aisled house 150 metres from the stone . tiompan Posted by tiompan
14th November 2009ce

I have driven past this stone on previous visits to Harris but this was the first time I got to see it up close and personal. There is a sign on the road for parking, with a bench by it. Park here and then make your way across the beach and up the sandy initally looks closer than it is and with the wind howling around us we were knackered by the time we reached the stone. But it was worth it. The views across to Taransay were amazing and the stone is another of those skinny Hebridean ones which shouldn't still be still be standing after all of these years. Vicster Posted by Vicster
8th November 2006ce
Edited 10th December 2006ce

Visited 5th August 2004: We approached this one all wrong. It was entirely my fault as well. We parked on the wrong side of the stream near the picnic area, and had to paddle across where the water was shallow. Then we worked our way up the headland, past some serious sand extraction quarries, up to the top then down towards Clach Mhic Leòid. It was an interesting route, but not ideal for the kids. There was a fence to get over before we got to the stone, and at this point I realised we should have done it all differently (presumably parking near the cattle grid).

The stone is big and macho. The views are splendid, but we weren't blessed with sunshine. There's a weird sort of notch in the top of the stone (like an inverted arrow), and I couldn't help but wonder whether it's an original feature. It could equally be the result of a lightning strike. A 'must see' if you're on Harris, but not as charming as Sgarasta.
Kammer Posted by Kammer
6th April 2005ce
Edited 6th April 2005ce

Harris is a peculiar place, full of extremes. On the west coast are beaches which surely match the finest on earth, yet on the east and in the north, the landscape is barren and rocky. Stanley Kubrick in filming his masterpiece 2001 A Space Odyssey used the rocky terrain of Harris as a double for Mars. Testament indeed to the out worldly nature of the place.

Across one of the beaches on the west side there is a signpost directing the traveller to a place known as 'The Macleod Stone'. An impressive monolith perched on a hilltop looking out over to Taransay, the island made famous by the BBC's Survivor programme.

To get there is no chore although the beach does seem to stretch forever and apart from sinking in the soft sand and leaping over the odd channel it's a pleasant trip. However, this is Harris, a place renowned for its unpredictable weather. As we reached the stone, the wind started to howl and the rain buffeted down. We took our pics and struggled back to the roadside fighting the elements.
notjamesbond Posted by notjamesbond
1st July 2003ce
Edited 6th April 2005ce

The island of Harris is blessed with many fine sandy beaches. The Macleods stone is signposted from the road and is situated atop a hilloch looking out onto the bay of Traigh Lar. notjamesbond Posted by notjamesbond
23rd June 2003ce


Add folklore Add folklore
A local farming family set up this huge standing stone, probably over 5,000 years ago. For the people who erected it, this stone represented their links with the land and their ancestors. They wouldn't have been known as MacLeods – that is a much more recent association.

The standing stone gave out a clear message: this land is well-used, it is ours and has been for generations. This was a rich land when Clach Mhic Leòid was erected in the prehistoric Neolithic period. The landscape was one of small-scale agriculture and open woodland. Any rough grazing or peat was confined to the high hills, and even the sea was some distance away.

Tradition sometimes associates standing stones with burials but archaeologists rarely, if ever, find contemporary evidence of burials at the base of single stones. It wasn't until around 4,500 to 3,800 years ago, in the later Neolithic and early Bronze Age, that individual burials became common-place.

Nevertheless, it is possible that Clach Mhic Leòid continued to be important to the local people, even as times and beliefs changed. There are a number of large stones showing through the turf close to this magnificent slab. Was the area eventually used as a place of burial? Without archaeological investigation we will never know. Nevertheless, the medieval naming of the stone, Mhic Leòid, reflects valued links with the distant past.

The MacLeods of Harris and Dunvegan were the clan chiefs who held Harris from the 13th or 14th centuries until the late 1700s. Perhaps the clan name was given to this standing stone to link the MacLeods to long-departed ancestors, real or imaginary, and thereby emphasise their right to power over the land and the people.

By Jill Harden
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
3rd August 2022ce


Add miscellaneous Add miscellaneous
From Prehistoric Harris (1) by M & R Curtis

"It has been suggested that this stone was erected by prehistoric man as part of a calendrical system: at the equinoxes the sun sets exactly due west over St Kilda, as seen from the stone."
greywether Posted by greywether
15th August 2004ce