#Orkney’s Neolithic sites – the Standing Stones of Stennes, and the Ring of Brodgar #Scotland #holiday

I promised more posts from October’s Orkney holiday, so here’s the next one.

I mentioned before that Orkney’s history is amazingly rich, and spanning an incredible range of ages. Most intriguing for me are the Neolithic sites found all over the islands, most incredibly well preserved compared to others of comparable age across the world.

We started our Neolithic tour with Maeshowe chambered cairn, then moved right on along the road barely a mile, to find first, this lone stone standing on the side of the road

We never did find out any more about this one, but it is located in an area so rich with standing stones, we just treated it as an appetizer!

Moving a few hundred metres further, we came to the Standing Stones of Stennes

And to put a bit of perspective to the size of these monoliths…

Moving right along (which is what we did, as there is just SO much to see and so little time), here’s some idea of how many sites are crammed into a very small area of this one tiny corner of Orkney

So without further ado, we set off, oh, all of barely a mile along the road to the stunning Ring of Brodgar

This view from the car park gives some idea of the size, but once you get up there, amongst the stones, the sheer scale of the ring takes your breath away

Built around 2500-2000BC, the ring covers an area of almost 8,500 square metres!

Such a feeling of standing in the midst of history, wondering what significance these stones held to the peoples of the time. We discussed the possibility of this being a meeting place of tribes, with each having their own stone to gather beside, although other theories abound.

Quoting from Orkney.com “According to legend, it was a religious shrine and possibly a place of ritual, while others believe the ring was built for the astronomical observation of the equinox and solstice. The truth is, we don’t know for sure which only adds to the mystique.”

And we weren’t even finished for the day, so join me for more in my next post…


  1. Lovely to see this wonderful place like this. When we visited a couple years ago it was fenced in.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Gosh, that must have been frustrating! I can see they had been doing a lot of work to preserve the ground – it’s obviously very wet and easily damaged, so I guess that might have been why. We had to walk up there on specific parts of the path, but once we entered the Ring, we could go anywhere.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This is gorgeous, Deborah. Nature–augmented a bit by man–at its finest.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Just so! 👍


  3. These monoliths really are amazing, Deborah.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Standing up against them is a deeply awe inspiring experience.


  4. It seems only in recent years that most of us have heard that there are many standing stones all over the country and there was a lot more going on at the top of the British Isles long ago than we were led to believe. Lots of different cultures probably.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is a bit mind boggling how many of these sites there are, particularly in North Scotland. Many more posts to come yet from this brief tour.


  5. Reblogged this on firefly465 and commented:
    Deborah Jay’s post on The Mainland of Orkney’s neolithic sites.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m so happy to got to see the Ring o Brodgair. It’s a very special place. xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s hard to convey what an amazing feeling it is to stand amongst such history.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I feel blessed to have visited Orkney Deborah. Your post brought back so many wonderful memories. It is amazing how many wonderful places of interest there are on the island.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Isn’t it just? I had NO idea before starting to research for our visit. Now we need to go back several more times, there is so much we didn’t get to see first time around.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Oh, oh, oh! Standing Stones!!! I’ve always dreamed of seeing standing stones! And these are so lovely and remote looking, and in such unspoiled surroundings!!! I swear, I have to find some way to beam myself across the water one day. I really LONG to see such things with my very own eyes! A lovely post, Debby! Thanks! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 😀
      You really will – there isn’t anything comparable to standing in the midst of such ancient history, and there’s nothing to compare to the Scottish landscape.


      1. I believe you! My heart longs to see it someday. In the meantime, I have your wonderful photos to enjoy. Keep ’em coming! 🙂 ❤

        Liked by 1 person

      2. ❤ Plenty more to come 😀


  9. […] The Barnhouse Settlement, is STILL within a couple of miles of all the sites from my last posts, […]


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