The Modern Antiquarian. Stone Circles, Ancient Sites, Neolithic Monuments, Ancient Monuments, Prehistoric Sites, Megalithic MysteriesThe Modern Antiquarian

The Standing Stones of Stenness

Stone Circle


Visited 11th August 2012

We’ve visited Stenness several times already on this trip to Orkney, but on our way back to Kirkwall after a trip to Hoy, the glorious sunshine was too tempting and so we called in at the stones.

The first time you approach the stones the scale of them hits you, along with their amazing tapering shapes. As the afternoon sun casts long shadows the megaliths look as if they could be an art installation or sculpture park, so forward thinking was the selection and placement of the stones. The good weather has brought other tourists out, and the interior of the circle has somewhat of a festival atmosphere as children play at the base of the stones whilst a man gently strums a mandola and couples hand in hand stroll around the circle. It feels joyous and it is.

The heavily denuded remains of the henge around the circle is still visible, and from the centre the hills of Hoy dominate the horizon as I gaze west. When once a full complement of stones stood around the circle you can only imagine the impact this place would have had in the heart of the most sacred area on Orkney. Its just a pity that eejits such as W. Mackay (a ‘ferry-louper’ if ever there was one) did such damage to the site in 1814.

Stenness though is such an iconic site, and normally one of the first places I stop when arriving on Orkney, it’s got special memories for me, and continues to call me back, and I’m sure anyone who visits will feel its call too..
Ravenfeather Posted by Ravenfeather
24th August 2012ce

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