Saints and Stones: Stones of Stenness
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Stenness is one of the earliest stone circles in the U.K. dating from ca. 3100 B.C. in the Neolithic period. Classed as a henge monument like the nearby Ring of Brodgar, the stone circle of originally 12 stones was surrounded by a ditch outside of which was an earth bank.

Of the four remaining stones, the tallest is 19 feet high. The stones are thin slabs and were originally elements of an elliptical shaped stone circle of about 104 feet in diameter.

In the center of the ring is a large stone hearth, similar to those found in other Neolithic settlements. The hearth, constructed from four large stone slabs, is thought to have been transplanted from the nearby Neolithic Barnhouse Settlement. Also in the center is a rebuilt dolmen whose originality is disputed.

Previous excavations have found cremated bone, charcoal, and grooved ware pottery. This style of pottery and the radiocarbon dating indicates a date of ca. 3100 B.C., the same period as the nearby Neolitihic village of Skara Brae.

About the Stones of Stenness

Orkneyjar: Standing Stones of Stenness
Megalithic Portal: Stenness
Undiscovered Scotland: Stones of Stenness
Stone Pages: Stones of Stenness
Wikipedia: Standing Stones of Stenness
Wikipedia: Standing Stones
Wikipedia: Henges

Journey to the Stones of Stenness

The Stones of Stenness are located in the "Heart of Neolithic Orkney" -- an area of Orkney's West Mainland now designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site -- between the Loch of Stenness and the Loch of Harray on the B9055 off of the main Stromess-Kirkwall road (A965).

Ordnance Survey Map (HY3060912454)

Visitors Information

Visitors information may be found on the Historic Scotland website and the Orkneyjar website. General tourist information for Orkney may be found on the Visit Orkney website.

Additional Photos of the Stones of Stenness

Road Sign for Stones of Stenness
Descriptive Sign at Stones of Stenness
Descriptive Sign at Stones of Stenness
Descriptive Sign at Stones of Stenness
Stones of Stenness
Stones of Stenness
Stones of Stenness
19 Foot Tallest Stone at Stenness
Stones of Stenness with Loch of Stenness in Background
Nearby Salt Water Loch of Stenness
Stones of Stenness
Close-Up of Stone
Disputed "Dolmen"
Remains of Broken Stone, Stones of Stenness
Hearth Constructed from Slabs from Nearby Barnhouse Settlement
Maeshowe Chambered Cairn from the Stones of Stenness
Ring of Brodgar from the Stones of Stenness
Stones of Stenness


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