Sighthill Stone Circle – Glasgow, Scotland - Atlas Obscura

Sighthill Stone Circle

This astronomically-aligned stone circle was the first of its kind to be built in Great Britain after a 3,000-year hiatus. 

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Northeast of Glasgow City Centre lies Sighthill Stone Circle, a modern construction in an ancient style that has been attracting tourists and members of the Pagan community since it was completed in 1979. 

After the Glasgow Parks Department asked astronomer and science-fiction writer Duncan Lunan to build a “mini-Stonehenge,” he set about finding the right location for this special task, which would be the first of it’s kind in over 3,000 years. The original request had been to copy one of the ancient sites, but each of those stones has been carefully aligned to fit its particular location. As Lunan wrote in 2019, “For the monument to be functional and educational… I would have to find a suitable site and design the structure in accordance with the ancient principles.”

The wasteland of a former chemical factory overlooking the motorway seemed to be the perfect site. Work began in 1978, but hit a snag when Margaret Thatcher came to power and cut funding for the project. Fortunately Beltmoss Quarry came to the rescue and supplied five extra stones and the job was finished the following year.

There are 17 stones in total: a massive four-tone stone at the center, surrounded by a circle of 16 smaller stones. The Sighthill megalith was intended as a tribute to both ancient astronomers and the modern scientists who recognized their achievements.

In 2016, the stones were removed temporarily as Sighthill underwent a transformational regeneration project. This undertaking was once again lead by Duncan Lunan with Morgan Sindell Contractors and Glasgow City Council.  The new circle was completed in March 2019, just in time for the spring equinox. Now the stones have a new position, about 200 meters from where they were originally placed—but don’t fear, they have been carefully re-aligned with the sun and stars.

Know Before You Go

The stones are free to visit but due to ongoing building work they are fenced off temporarily. Full access is expected around September 2020. 

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