Meet the Board

Donald Macarthur


I'm Donald Macarthur, I live in Breasclete and I operate tourism businesses in the area surrounding the Calanais Stones.

Why is Calanais & Urras 

nan Tursachan meaningful to you?

The Calanais Stones have been an ever-present part of my life for as long as I can remember.  I was brought up in the local area and have been lucky to witness significant events associated with the Stones over the years. One early memory was a school trip to view the researchers from the University of Edinburgh restoring one the fallen stones back to its original position in the early '80s. 

More recently, experience from operating tourism businesses locally has highlighted the immense impact the Calanais Stones have on people from all over the world. This has inspired me to learn more and help to realise the untapped potential that the Stones have to both benefit the local community and also tell the story of our common ancestors to the wider world.

I hope to bring my 20 years of experience from running tourism businesses in this fragile economic area to help direct the future direction of the trust such that it is both economically secure and a positive contribute to the local economy and community. I also bring some scientific research skills and experience from my previous career as a Research Chemist.

Where is your favourite archaeological site, and why? (doesn’t have to be Calanais!)

Calanais X : The site's importance was only brought to my attention in recent years and as many will say I have not stopped going on about it since! There is something quite powerful seeing the once upright stones lying prostrate on the ground. The site has a sense of animation that is not as present at others. The way that the stones are lying as they fell thousands of years ago somehow brings the circle to life. 

Meet the Team

Simon Butler

Project Delivery Director

Hi, I'm Simon Butler, Project Delivery Director here at Urras nan Tursachan and I live on the West Side of the Isle of Lewis.

What you do at Urras nan Tursachan?

As well as supporting the Visitor Centre team, my job is to lead the development of the Trust’s project and development work, working with friends and partners to explore and safeguard our heritage, and to ensure that it brings real benefits to our island community.

Your background?

I’ve worked in heritage and building conservation for 15 years, managing projects at castles, churches, archaeological sites and grand country houses. I’ve always found Calanais fascinating -  one of the most interesting, most important, and least understood monuments  in the country. The opportunity to come and help explore it is very much a dream come true.

Where is your favourite archaeological site, and why? (doesn’t have to be Calanais!)

My favourite archaeological site anywhere is Chepstow Castle on the Welsh Marches, which stands on cliffs above the River Wye. My favourite site on the lslands (other than Calanais)  is the Arnol Blackhouse, a really superbly presented site which gives you a real insight into everyday life in the islands up until relatively recently.

You can get in touch with me here:

Urras nan Tursachan (SC022483)

01851 621422

Calanais Visitor Centre, Calanais, Isle of Lewis HS2 9DY, UK

©2019 by Urras nan Tursachan