The Standing Stones of Stenness

The stones are a Neolithic monument on the mainland of Orkney not far from the Ring of Brodgar and Maeshowe. The name Stenness, which is pronounced stane-is in Orcadian dialect, comes from Old Norse meaning stone headland.

The stones are thin slabs, approximately 1ft thick. Four stones, up to about 16 ft high, were originally part of a circle of 12 stones, laid out in an ellipse of about 104 ft in diameter on a level platform with a diameter of 144 ft all surrounded by a ditch.

The pottery found at the site links the monument to Skara Brae and Maeshowe, and the site is thought to date from at least 3000 BC. The sheep are from a much later date.

photo by cam.shirl