HY3012 : The Stones of Stenness - view from the South
taken 7 years ago, near to Sultigeo, Mainland, Orkney Islands, Scotland
The Stones of Stenness are one of the oldest of all the numerous Neolithic (New Stone Age) sites to be found scattered among the Isles of Orkney. They are amongst a group of Neolithic monuments and structures to be found towards the western side of Mainland, Orkney.
Radio-Carbon dating suggests a date for this stone circle (or more likely an ellipse) of around 3100BC (over 5000 years ago).
It is thought that the original plan was for 12 stones to form the ellipse, but that only 10 were ever erected, and now just four original stones remain along with a "hearth" formed of three stones that it is thought was brought here at a later date from its original site at Barnhouse.
The megaliths here are considerably larger than those found in the nearby Ring of Brodgar, which lies approximately one mile to the north-west. Between these two monuments, but much closer to Stenness is a single megalith known as the Watch Stone, this is situated overlooking the SE end of the Brig o' Brodgar - the narrowest part of the isthmus. This isthmus separates the Loch of Harray (to the north) from the Loch of Stenness (to the south). Harray is an inland loch containing fresh water, whereas the Loch of Stenness is a sea loch with an outlet or connection to the sea via "The Bush", but the narrowness of this channel means that the water in the loch is brackish.
The Stones of Stenness are classed as a henge monument, perhaps the oldest known example of a Henge anywhere in Britain. Originally the stone circle would have been surrounded by a ditch 13' (4m) wide and 7' (2.3m) deep. The entire enclosure would have had a diameter of about 144' (44m) with the stones themselves having a major axis (longest diameter of the ellipse) of about 105' (32m)
The Stones of Stenness form part of the Heart of Neolithic Orkney UNESCO World Heritage Site Link
For more information follow these Canmore website links:
Stones of Stenness (ring): Link
Watch Stone: Link
Stone of Odin: Link
- Grid Square
- HY3012, 139 images (more nearby 🔍)
- Rob Farrow (more nearby)
- Date Taken
- Tuesday, 6 September, 2016 (more nearby)
- Thursday, 26 January, 2017
- Subject Location
OSGB36: HY 3068 1250 [10m precision]
WGS84: 58:59.6385N 3:12.4858W
- Camera Location
- OSGB36: HY 30671 12444
- View Direction
- NORTH (about 0 degrees)