Visit this iconic henge monument, which was put in place between 5,400 and 4,500 years ago—a period pre-dating Stonehenge.
One of the most famous attractions on Orkney, this iconic henge monument was put in place between 5,400 and 4,500 years ago, a period pre-dating Stonehenge. Only four megaliths of the original twelve remain standing. It is believed to have been a worship and ceremonial site, although its purpose is still unknown. Some of the traditions and rituals, later related to Norse gods, are alleged to have continued into the 18th century. Nearby you can find other large megaliths: the Watchstone, the Barnhouse Stone and the Odin Stone, where couples used to pledge their betrothals by holding hands through a pierced hole in the stone.
The Standing Stones of Stenness are part of the UNESCO World Heritage site “The Heart of Neolithic Orkney”, which also includes the Ring of Brodgar, Maeshowe and Skara Brae. Accessible all year round, it’s best to go either very early or late in the day, when these giant stones (of up to 6 metres high) cast an impressive and eerie silhouette in the sunrise or sunset.View Orkney Isles