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Prehistoric discovery may delay Lewis development  

A neolithic cairn discovered on Lewis could force a controversial wind-farm plan to be redrawn.

Leisure tycoon Nicholas Oppenheim plans to build a 53- turbine wind farm at his Eisgein Estate on the island, but the presence of the cairn could help prove the site was “sacred land” to the prehistoric people who built the famous Callanish standing stones about 12 miles away.

The site lies on a range of hills within the proposed development area known as Cailleach na Mointeach (the Old Woman of the Moors) because the skyline resembles the profile of a woman when viewed from Callanish.

Every 18 and a half years, the Moon rises from her knees – as if being “born” – and then sets at a point framed by the 4,000-year-old stones. Several of the 53 turbines planned by Mr Oppenheim’s Beinn Mhor Power company would interrupt this skyline.

Ian McHardy, an archaeologist, said his discovery of the cairn near the Old Woman’s knees meant the site should be protected. “There’s a five-metre diameter cairn with a curve round the edge of it, which is of typical neolithic construction,” he said.

Mr Oppenheim said: “If there is something, it would be fascinating and the scheme would be amended. But I’d like to hear more about what it is.”


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