Grand Tour Of Scotland: Exploring Orkney #44

Day 6: 16 August 2019 ~ Standing Stones of Stenness

The Standing Stones of Stenness, Orkney, Scotland
  • Location: The Standing Stones of Stenness, Orkney, Scotland
  • Date Taken: 2019-08-16
  • Camera: Canon EOS 7D Mark II
  • Lens: Canon Zoom Lens EF-S 18-200 mm F/3-5.6 IS
  • Exposure Program: Manual
  • F-Stop: f/5
  • Exposure Time: 1/500 sec
  • ISO Speed: ISO-250
  • Focal Length: 18 mm
  • Metering Mode: Center Weighted Average
  • Handheld

The Standing Stones of Stenness, is a Neolithic monument five miles northeast of Stromness on the mainland of Orkney, Scotland. It may be the oldest henge site in the British Isles. Various traditions associated with the stones survived into the modern era, and they form part of the Heart of Neolithic Orkney World Heritage Site.

The surviving stones are on the south bank of the stream that joins the southern ends of the sea loch Loch of Stenness and the freshwater Loch of Harray. The name pronounced as stane-is in Orcadian dialect, comes from an Old Norse meaning stone headland

The Stenness Watch Stone stands outside the circle, next to the modern bridge leading to the Ring of Brodgar.

Although the site today lacks the encircling ditch and bank, excavation has shown that this used to be a henge monument, possibly the oldest in the British Isles. The stones are thin slabs, approximately 30 cm thick, with sharply angled tops. Four, up to about 5 m high, were elements of a stone circle of up to 12 stones, laid out in an ellipse about 32 m diameter on a leveled platform of 44 m diameter surrounded by a ditch. 

The ditch is cut into the rock by as much as 2 m and is 7 m wide, surrounded by an earth bank, with a single entrance causeway on the north side. The entrance faces towards the Neolithic Barnhouse Settlement adjacent to the Loch of Harray. 

The Watch Stone stands outside the circle to the northwest and is 5.6 m high. Once there were at least two stones there. The stump of a second stone was found in the 1930s. 

Other smaller stones include a square stone set in the center where cremated bone, charcoal, and pottery were found, called a “hearth.”

Thank you very much for taking the time to join me on my travels through Scotland one Photo at a time. I hope you enjoyed it just as much as I did.

If you like what you see please press the like button, share and leave a comment. I read all my comments, and try to answer them all.

Till next time, safe travels and keep dreaming.

Have a fabulous day.