Steinacleit Stone Circle
History, tourist information, and nearby accommodation
One theory is that the 'stone circle' is actually a domestic building created from an earlier prehistoric structure. The RCAHMS national monument record describes it as a homestead and field system and Historic Environment Scotland suggests that it may be the remains of a prehistoric farmstead with an enclosed area, or yard.
If you are expecting a dramatic stone circle like Callanish you will be disappointed, but Steinacleit is an intriguing site, perhaps more interesting because we can only guess at its original purpose.
The Historic Scotland sign tells us 'Neolithic burial cairn (c. 1800-1500 BCE). The circle of large stones, some 50 ft in diameter, formed the kerb which enclosed the cairn. An outer setting of stones, oval on plan and of unknown purpose, runs at varying distances from the cairn'.
It seems that the Steinacleit stones were buried beneath the peat for thousands of years and were only rediscovered in the 1920s when crofters digging for peat uncovered evidence of a circular building and a walled enclosure in a roughly oval shape.
An area of peat was left intact, showing that the stones had been buried up to one metre beneath the ground surface.
So, what was Steinacleit? A stone circle? A homestead? The site has never been excavated, but similar sites have been explored throughout the Western Isles and proven to be homesteads built about 2000 BC that formed part of larger settlements, so that seems to be the most likely answer.
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About Steinacleit Stone Circle
Address: Isle of Lewis, Shader, Western Isles, Highlands and Islands, Scotland
Attraction Type: Prehistoric Site - Standing Stones
Location: At the south end of Loch an Duin, near the hamlet of Shader, Isle of Lewis, on the A857 to Ness.
Website: Steinacleit Stone Circle
Photo Credit: David Ross and Britain Express
Opening Details: Open access site, usually accessible at any reasonable time
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NEARBY HISTORIC ATTRACTIONS
Heritage Rated from 1- 5 (low-exceptional) on historic interest
Clach an Truiseil Standing Stone - 1.3 miles (Prehistoric Site)
Arnol Black House - 6.1 miles (Museum)
The Whalebone Arch - 7.5 miles (Historic Building)
Bridge to Nowhere - 8.7 miles (Historic Building)
Gress Raiders Memorial - 9.8 miles (Historic Building)
Europie, St Moluag's Church - 10.3 miles (Historic Church)
Shawbost Norse Mill and Kiln - 10.5 miles (Museum)
Butt of Lewis Lighthouse - 10.9 miles (Historic Building)
Nearest Holiday Cottages to Steinacleit Stone Circle:
Nearby accommodation is calculated 'as the crow flies' from Steinacleit Stone Circle. 'Nearest' may involve a long drive up and down glens or, if you are near the coast, may include a ferry ride! Please check the property map to make sure the location is right for you.