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

The Great Sacred Monuments of Stenness


The farmer who in 1814, removed the Stone of Odin because he was fed up of the many visitors to his land, clearly underestimated the attachment that locals had to this stone. The farmer (who also commited the crime of not being a native Orcadian) was almost killed after 2 attempted arson attacks on his property.
According to Reverend R. Henry (c.1784), every New Years Day local young folk gathered at the Kirk of Stenness with enough provisions for 4 or 5 days. Couples who wished to be married would leave the group alone and go to the Temple of the Moon (Stones of Stenness) where the woman would pray to Woden. Then they went to the Temple of the Sun (Ring of Brodgar), where the man would pray before the woman, when finally they went to the Stone of Odin where they clasped their right hands through the hole in the stone and exchanged vows.
Leslie Grinsell wrote in 1976 (Folklore of Prehistoric Sites in Britain) that babies who were passed through the hole in the Stone of Odin would live long and healthily. Grinsell also wrote that it was customary to leave offerings at the Stone of Odin and that sick people would go round the Stones of Stenness 3 times to become cured.
Posted by winterjc
4th December 2001ce
Edited 20th November 2002ce

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