The Standing Stones of Stenness
(The Ring of the Moon)
One of the oldest stone monuments in
Britain, the Standing Stones of Stenness has been in place for about
5000 years. It was once a ring of 12 large stones which was built around 3100 BC, so
it is older than the pyramids of Egypt. Only a few of the original stones are still in place. Today, the ring lies between
two beautiful lakes, but scientists have recently discovered that it
originally stood between two bogs.
Over its long history, this stone circle saw different cultures come
and go. There is no evidence to suggest that Pictish people used it, but I felt it reasonable to imagine that any people
living in Orkney would be drawn to this area with its amazing
monuments. In Dragon Seer, the annual Gathering takes place inside the circle of standing stones.
One of the best websites to learn more about the Standing Stones of
Stenness is, again, the Orkneyjar website. Here's a link to the
Orkneyjar Standing Stones o' Stenness
main page. The menu on the right hand side of this page leads to many
other pages, including three pages of beautiful photographs, a page that answers the question What is a Henge Monument? and
a detailed look at Building Stone Circles. Anyone interested in these monuments should take some time to explore these pages.
To see a view taken from inside the stones, visit the Stone Pages Standing Stones of Stenness panorama link. Once inside the picture, you can use your cursor to move around.
For even more information about this stone
circle visit Medieval North Atlantic's Stone of Stenness
main page. By clicking on the icons on the right you can see another
Quicktime panorama taken from inside the stones. This one shows the
horizon more clearly. The "Text" icon will take you to a detailed
overview of the monument.
The large stone near the right hand edge of the photograph at the top of this page is the Watch Stone, an important monument in its own right.
Here are photos I took of the three remaining standing stones. The tallest is over five metres high.