Ring of Brodgar

Stone Circle and Henge
Mainland, Orkney
Nearest town: Stromness
Nearest village: Stenness
Map reference: HY 294134

Ring of Brodgar Image The circle is 110 m wide

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Twenty-seven stones remain of an original sixty in the impressive stone circle, known as Ring of Brodgar or Brogar and set up on a slope facing east.The stones are part of a henge monument, and the surrounding ditch and bank can still be made out, with entrances on the NW and SE. The circle had a diameter of about 110 m (120 yards) and the tallest stone today measures 4.6 m (15 ft). A tentative dating for this site is the Early Bronze Age or about 2500 BC.
    There are carvings on four of the stones clockwise from the NW entrance they are on stones 3 (a runic inscription of the name Bjorn - probably a Norse visitor), 4 (a cross), 8 (an anvil), and 9 (an ogham inscription). These were carved many years after the erection of the stones.
    The Ring of Brodgar was once known as the Temple of the Sun and the Stones of Stenness as the Temple of the Moon. Between the ring and an outer earth bank lies a ditch quarried from solid sandstone bedrock that was once no less than 3.6 m (12 ft) deep and 9 m (30 ft) wide. The volume of rock excavated from the ditch was about 4700 cubic meters (165.700 cubic feet). The bank, where it survives at all, is very low; it must have eroded or been carried away over the centuries. The deep ditch may have served a similar function to the walls of a cathedral, giving a feeling of vast enclosed space. To the SE, 137 m (449 ft) away, lies the Comet Stone.

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