The Ring of Brodgar in Orkney is one of the largest neolithic stone circles and henges in Britain.
Thought to have been built in the late Neolithic period, around 2500BC (a hundred years after the great pyramid of Cheops), The Ring of Brodgar was originally a near perfect circle of about 60 standing stones, measuring 104 metres in diameter.
Only 36 of the original 60 stones stand today and thirteen of these were re-erected shortly after the monument came into state ownership in 1906.
The stone circle is surrounded by a 10 meter wide ditch or henge with two opposing causeways running across it.
Many of the stones have succumbed to the Orkney elements over the years, some fallen, some cracked but still an imposing feature on the landscape.
The Ring of Brodgar is situated in a natural amphitheatre, surrounded by gently rolling hills and flanked on either side by the waters of Harry and Stennes Lochs. This gives weight to the suggestion that the stone circle was used as a communal meeting and ceremonial place.
Where are the Brodgar stones from?
Close inspection of the monoliths, reveal that they are made from different types of red sandstone, suggesting that they have been
quarried from many parts of Orkney.
To the north of Skara Brae are the remains of a prehistoric quarry with several large, work in progress monoliths still in situ.
The fields that surround the ring of Brodgar are rich in archaeology but most is hidden from view.
Geophysicial surveys over recent years, reveal a prehistoric field system and settlement remains, which suggest that people may have been living in the area when the stone circle was built.
Orkneyjar – Ring o’ Brodgar article
Historic Scotland – The ring of Brodgar circle and henge
Ring of Brodgar gallery