Standing stones and ancient sites of the Scottish Isles:
Stones of Stenness – Located near the Loch of Stenness on the main island of Orkney, the tallest stone is over 5 meters high. The site dates from about 3000 BCE and is older than Maeshowe or Brodgar. The stones originally comprised of a circle of perhaps 12 monoliths surrounded by a ditch.
The Ring of Brodgar – Situated on a peninsular between the lochs of Harray and Stenness in the heart of the west of mainland of Scotland. This perfect stone circle originally comprised of 60 megaliths of which 27 remain upright. It is surrounded by a rock cut ditch dating from the same neolithic period as Maeshowe and Skara Brae. The monument has been carefully situated with clear views in all directions.
Maeshowe – One of the finest of all chambered cairns, these tombs were built by neolithic people from around 3200 BCE. The mound has been carefully situated so that the entrance passage is aligned with the setting sun, which illuminates the chamber during the winter solstice. In 1862 a large number of 12th century inscriptions were discovered. They were carved by Norsemen returning from the crusades.
Skara Brae – is a large stone-built Neolithic settlement, located on the Bay of Skaill on the west coast of Mainland, Orkney, Scotland. It consists of ten clustered houses joined together by a street. It was occupied from roughly 3180 BCE–2500 BCE. Europe’s most complete Neolithic village was buried under sand dunes until 1850 when it was revealed by a savage storm.
Stones of Callanish – (or “Callanish I”), Clachan Chalanais or Tursachan Chalanais in Gaelic, are situated near the village of Callanish on the west coast of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides. There are 13 primary stones which form a circle 30 meters in diameter. These are approached by an avenue of stones to the north. The stones are from 1 to 5 meters in height and are made from Lewisian Gness stone. Local folklore suggests giants who were living on the island were turned into stone by Saint Kieran as a punishment for refusing to be converted to Christianity.
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