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

The Great Sacred Monuments of Stenness


Pococke 1760
"[from the Ring of Brodgar] There is a single pillar about 50 yards to the North East, and a barrow to the North and South, one to the South West and another to the North East...
another circle of stones [Stones of Stenness] which are 15 feet high, 6 feet broad, the circle is about 30 yards in diameter, and the stones are about 8 yards apart. There are two standing to the South, one is wanting, and there are two stones standing, a third lying down, then three are wanting, there being a space of 27 yards so that there were eight in all : Eighteen yards South East from the circle is a single stone, and 124 yards to the East of that is another [Odin Stone] with a hole in one side towards the bottom, from which going to the circle is another [stone] 73 yards from the fossee [sic], the outer part of which fossee is 16 yards from the circle : there are several small barrows chiefly to the East [Clovy Knowes]." His map shows a large squat stone close to the shore E of the S end of the bridge - this and the possible causeway perhaps a reminder of when the main road went along the driveway to Stenness Kirk.

Low ~1774 unpublished ms "History of the Orkneys" quoted in 1879 edition published by William Peace [referring to a lost drawing, that published being one by William Aberdeen from the1760's]
"[Stones of Stenness] The drawing shows the stones in their present state, which is four entire and one broken [??recumbent]. It is not ditched about like ... [Ring of Brodgar]..but surrounded with a raised mound partly raised on the live earth, as the other was cut from it... near the circle are several stones set on end without any regular order, or several of them so much broken, hinder us as to the design of them."

William Aberdeen's annotated map [donated to Royal Society of London 1784] is the source of observations attributed later to Hibbert
"When Oliver Cromwell's men were in this county they dug tolerably deep in the top [of Maeshowe] , but found nothing but earth" also that site used for archery + "[E of Ring of Brodgar] a small mount... still retains the name of Watch Hill or Tower [Plumcake Mound rather than Fresh Knowe I think]."
wideford Posted by wideford
1st May 2010ce

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