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Husband and wife team Duncan and Linda Lunan have formed a new organisation, Friends of the Sighthill Stone Circle, to promote and further plans to renovate and complete the astronomically aligned stone circle in Sighthill Park, Glasgow, the first of its kind in the UK for 3000 years.
The Sighthill circle was designed by Duncan and erected by the Glasgow Parks Department Astronomy Project, as part of the Jobs Creation/Special Temporary Employment Programme, 1978-79. It was dedicated to four prominent experts in the field of ancient astronomy, all with close connections to Glasgow. Following the change of government in 1979 the circle was never completed, and it has never become the local and visitor attraction which was intended. Four unused stones lie on the site to this day, the stones are partly buried following incorrect landscaping in 1982, and there is nothing to tell visitors who put them up, to whom they’re dedicated or how the circle works.
Following a public lecture and mass visit to the circle at the summer solstice in 2010, the existing paths around the circle have been cleared by Land and Environment Services. The aim now is to erect the final stones, install a plaque to explain the circle’s origins and function, restore the stones to full height and provide better footpath access. This will highlight its links to the past and the future of the area and to other astronomical attractions in the city and beyond.
Duncan and Linda invite those interested in progressing this work to contact them at: Friends of the Sighthill Stone Circle, www.sighthillstonecircle.net or tel: 0141 221 7658 or to attend the next meeting in the Ogilvie Centre, 25 Rose Street, Glasgow G3 6RE on Wednesday 22 June 2011 at 7.30pm. This will be followed by a visit to the Stone Circle in time to see the sunset there and get an understanding of how the circle works.
READ ORIGINAL ARTICLE AT GLASGOW LOCAL NEWS
Here’s an account by Steve Mansfield-Devine of his visit to the ‘Côte des Mégalithes’ and, of course, Carnac in particular. This is the first in a series of eight posts at his fascinating blog, The Human Landscape. The full series can be seen here and I do recommend having a look – especially if you are contemplating visiting the area. Steve’s blog is full of helpful travel and photographic advice.
We like to holiday in Brittany during autumn or winter. On a previous visit, we mooted the idea of driving up to Carnac, but were too busy. It was a disappointment as visiting the alignments had been a dream for 30 years.
When I first became interested in megalithic sites, as part of an art school project back in 1977, I read about Carnac and its thousands of stones arranged in mysterious rows with both fascination and despair. The despair came from knowing I would never see them. For a working class boy living in Cheshire, the idea of travelling to France just to visit some stones was too fantastic. Now I live about 3.5 hours drive away (3 hours if I drive like a Frenchman) and have at last realised that dream.
I will blog about the sites we visited and sights we saw in subsequent postings – with some pix, once I’ve finished working on them. But first, a general impression.
I wasn’t disappointed. Yes, the main Carnac alignments are now fenced-off, but in the off-season you can stroll freely about the main part of Le Ménec and Kerlescan. And Le Petit Ménec isn’t fenced and is possibly the most beautiful and moving of the monuments.
Other sites weren’t so impressive and my advice to anyone new to the area would be to seek out the more remote and less-visited sites. Le Grand Menhir Brisé, for example, notwithstanding its astonishing size (albeit broken into four pieces) and the accompanying cairns, is in a carefully manicured enclosure, with hedge and visitor centre, hemmed in by modern housing, and feels like a bland piece of sculpture in a small, municipal park. All sense of mystery, any intimation that this may once have been an auspicious place, has been eradicated. It’s like a neolithic theme park. I called it ‘MegalithWorld’ but Trish, my wife, came up with the better, if more savage, ‘McMegalith’. We encountered a few McMegaliths – perhaps a reflection of just how common they are in this area.
Far more interesting, more intimate and infinitely more spooky was the nearby dolmen of ‘Les Pierres Plates’ – but more of that later. Read much more here …