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

Stone of Odin

Holed Stone (Destroyed)


Twice I have opted to go from the Stenness parish kirk through the fields to the Stones of Stenness but instead had to follow the fence running NE-SW south of it. And each time I have looked at the stump of the old field wall that this follows. Apart from this both times I have cause to note several large stone fragments near the line that aren't from a wall and each time have mistakenly looked for a gate or other entrance. Now I have the explanation because Pococke's location for a holed stone, 124 yards west of a stone 18 yards south-east of the circle. Further I identify this with the stone depicted by Lady Stafford : tall and shaggy, cleft from the top to ground level, having an angled top (not slanted) and with a central hole near to the base. It is even possible that Dr.R.Henry's description of the stone having a hole 3' up, rather than five, is a reference to this rather than a lapsus pennae.I believe it to have been possibly the size and even age of the Watch Stone
So there were two holed stones near the Stones of Stenness. Of the sentinel stones in Pococke's drawing along the shore the one (?'stone of sacrifice') that isn't the Watch Stone ('stone of power') is described as having a stone in the middle of it. It is roughly diamond shaped and matches well with the stone doublet of Stanley's 1789 drawing (admittedly the latter is a shade more rectangular). Walden's map of 1772 shows a single stone, but this is shown as having just been cleaved in two and the other half of the doublet could be the stone lying flat under the breaking instrument but is more likely from this Stone of Odin. If the former was this heaved out of the shallow hole shown or is that the result of an excavation having taken place ? A hundred and fifty yards N of the stones brings it close to the shore as Pococke shows [~HY30671275], near where Odin Cottage is now.
wideford Posted by wideford
13th May 2010ce
Edited 13th May 2010ce

Comments (0)

You must be logged in to add a comment