Ring of Brodgar and Skara Brae

We visited some more neolithic sites yesterday. First stop was The Standing Stones o’ Stenness and the nearby and well-known Ring of Brodgar. Both are stone circles about 5000 years old. The stones are huge and heavy and would have been quite difficult to move and stand upright in their positions. Why did humans build these stone circles? They must performed some kind of ceremonial purpose but what exactly no-one knows.

The next two pics are of the Stones o’ Stenness.



The Ring of Brodgar.





Next stop was Skara Brae, a neolithic village built out of stone and in remarkably good condition. It was built about 4,500 years ago and much of their furniture was also built out of stone and is still there to see. I was impressed by the quality of the construction – I’ve seen shoddier homes built by humans today.






Our last stop was the Broch of Gurness, an iron-age village with a central stone tower.




13 Replies to “Ring of Brodgar and Skara Brae”

  1. Looks like you had some lovely weather for your trip. I’ve wanted to go to Skara Brae since I read a children’s novel about it as a young teenager, almost twenty years ago. I’ve not managed it yet though.

    1. We had very good weather although it was windy and the wind was cold. I hope you can visit one day. Skara Brae is an amazing place.

  2. Everyone looks like they are dressed for winter. These stone sites have fascinated me. It’s hard to imagine what their purpose was, and remarkable the stones could have been moved with the technology available 5,000 years ago, not to mention they were not sourced from the immediate area.

    1. It was quite cold up there. The days were sunny and the temperatures mild but there was a very cold wind so we all needed our winter coats.

  3. Wow, that Bridge looks pristine! Did you go for a swim? They make excellent cheese in the Orkneys, and black pudding although those would be for the non-vegetarians! The stone circles were often used in worship and are put up at very precise angles to catch the sun at the solstice. Maybe they also had a significance in time measurement in terms of days, seasons etc, so that by the angle of the sunset in relation to the stones or even the stars meant they knew when to plant their crops and put the animals out together so to speak!

    1. The beach did look really nice and very inviting but we didn’t swim. It was quite cold up there and we didn’t have time anyway.

  4. Sorry, I meant beach- here we are wondering if we will make it to Auckland because of snow and ice on the Central Plateau!

  5. What a glorious day out and I love your photos…you all look so healthy and happy 🙂 And I agree with you, those homes look in incredibly good condition. The colour of the sea is stunning and such fascinating history. I had no idea that Scotland was so beautiful, well, at least not until we stayed at Loch Lommond a few years ago. We are hoping to get a motorhome soon and plan to come up to Scotland to explore…these neolithic sites are at the top of the list, thanks Rachel 🙂

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