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Monday, 15 February 2010

Stone circles

Orkney has a number of examples of standing stones and stone circles. Don't think "Stonehenge" here - not massive blocks, but still impressive "henges" in their own right. Last week I went for a wander around the Standing Stones of Stenness (dating from around 3,100 BC) and the Neolithic Ring of Brodgar (dating from around 2,500 to 2000 BC). I love visiting these in the winter as I get them to myself! In the summer I must share them with visitors. The Stones of Stenness, Ring of Brodgar and Maeshowe are all within about a mile of each other. Great monuments which blend in among the landscape and modern houses of today.

One of the Stones of Stenness, with the Hoy Hills in the background

In the background over the top of one of the smaller Stones of Stenness you can just make out the domed shape of Maeshowe a Neolithic chambered cairn.

Below are some of the stones from the Ring of Brodgar

Around the Ring of Brodgar are other mounds which have yet to be excavated - you can just make one out to the right of the standing stone below. Again the Hoy Hills in the background.

The stones are covered in moss and lichens which follow the strata of the stones

Symbols of the past and present - on the horizon you can see the wind turbines of Burgar Hill.

There is talk that the Ring of Bookan has some funding for an archeological dig to take place this year. Archaeologists will also be continuing last year's excavation on the Ness of Brodgar. So the land in this area still has some secrets to yield.


  1. Oh, Sian - you almost make me cry - You get to see and hug the stones anytime you wish, and to experience the wonderful vibes that come from these magic places. I hope I get to see them again sometime.

  2. Brings back such lovely memories. It's a good thing I hadn't read Diana Gabaldon before we went to the stones!

  3. Great photos, Sian. I'd give a lot to be able to visit such places easily.

  4. So enjoying your jewel-bright little photos. They remind me that I must visit magical Orkney before I get too much older! I too rely on turning up my face to the sun to combat SAD - that and cake (!).

  5. Mary Z- well you will just have to come back and visit again!! But it is wonderful to be able to wander around the stones whenever I want. Sometimes I just enjoy the natural beauty of the location and others I wonder about the people who wandered the land so long ago......

    Bev -hmm not familiar with Diana Gabaldon..... you have me intrigued..... glad you have lovely memories of Orkney!

    Pat - well we'll just have to get someone working on that transporter technology now Scotty has gone - sigh....

    Dancing Beastie - what a lovely name! Yes you must come to Orkney!! But come in summer when the sun hardly sets - no SAD then... AND lots of cake!

  6. I admire the beauty of this nature.Get Credit Score Online