Ring of Brodgar, Orkney, Scotland

This evening, my post is focused on the famous Ring of Brodgar, a prehistoric circle-henge which is located some 10 miles WNW of Kirkwall on Mainland Orkney an island  which lies N.E. of the Scottish mainland.

This circle stands on a low-lying neck of land between the lochs of Harray and Stenness. This is an area rich in prehistory with the following in close proximity:

Refer this article for an aerial photograph of the site and supplementary information.

The circle stands on a plateau measuring 370 feet (113m) across, sloping down to the east and surrounded by a rock-cut ditch up to 30 feet wide and 10 feet deep (9m x 3m).Wide causeways are present at the north-west and south-east. It is believed an outer bank existed with a height of about 9 feet (3m) but this has disappeared due to a combination of natural erosion and robbing by local farmers.

The stone circle is positioned close to the inner edge of the ditch. Originally sixty but now twenty nine standing stones cover an area of 91000 Sq feet, it is the third largest of its kind in the British Isles.More information:

  • No central feature and the stones have an average height of 7 feet.
  • Constructed around 2700 BC .
  • Unusually, there are no obvious astronomical alignments.
  • Construction may have entailed 80,000 hours of manual labour at a time when only stone tools were available.

Here is a video clip of the site.

External ditch at Brodgar

Standing stones at Brodgar

Ring of Brodgar with external ditch

Overall, a truly intriguing site which has never been fully investigated.

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