This is a curiosity. Gallan Head or Aird Uig Isle of Lewis was transformed from peat-bog into a defence listening post in 1950’s. The Royal Air Force built RADAR towers used to eavesdrop shipping which continued through the Cold War under NATO ownership. Finally it was sold and is now owned by the Gallan Head Community Trust. Aird Uig is an unusual settlement. Changing from ugly utilitarian barracks into homely colourful homes. The moorland is also transforming from concrete buildings and groundworks to a whale watching/listening area and night sky observation point. Gallan Head has terrific views out over the Atlantic Ocean. I wish it well in its transformation.
This Lewis beach, Bosta, is not only a lovely white beach on Great Bernera. It was also a farmed area in Iron Age / Pictish times with settlements. A reconstruction of an Iron Age house opens on warmer months.
Four thousand years ago a Neolithic conversation in Callanish went as thus:
“Why don’t we stand huge fekin’ boulders on top of this hill?”
“They weigh five heffers each! Why?”
“Lets do it on the longest….no shortest day.”
“Lets put them into the same pattern as the lights in the night sky, as god commands.”
“Come again beardy”
“No look over there, that group of hills resemble a sleeping woman. Lets do that !”
“Have you been smokin’ kelp weed again hairy? Word to the wise, keep magic fire away from that face.”
“I know. We’ll knock-up a prototype stone circle here on this hill here then build a bigger one 1,000 beardlengths over there. In that one lets bury the bones of Morag the Mammoth”
Today we have no clear idea why Neolithic Scots created the stone circles at Callanish. Without written history things get lost. We excavate, scan, carbon date and take arial surveys to guess how it was done and hope it leads to why. I love follies and curiosities and some very special buildings. You might guess the how, but never get the why. Neolithic Scots – I salute you. What is your ‘Callanish’ ?