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Ring of Brodgar
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Quick Facts on the Ring of Brodgar

Short URL
Ring of Brodgar Ring of Brogar
Stenness StromnessKW17
Stromness  locality
Mainland  island
Scotland  country
United Kingdom  country
Europe  continent
Main date(s)
c. 2500 BCE
59.001567° N, 3.229637° W
Opening hours
Open during daylight hours
01856 841815

Historical Timeline of the Ring of Brodgar

Description of the Ring of Brodgar

Four thousand years after its construction, the Ring of Brodgar is still a magnificent sight. This is partly due to its large dimensions, but even more so to its atmospheric location on an elevated strip of grassland between two lakes - the freshwater Loch Harray to the east and the partially saltwater Loch Stenness to the west. The natural dualities of this beautiful and dramatic location - land and water, freshwater and saltwater, sunrise and sunset - may well have played a role in the choice of the site.

The stones of the Ring of Brodgar are laid out in a perfect circle with a diameter of 103.6 m, surrounded by a henge (earthwork bank and ditch). The area inside the circle is 8,435 sq m, making it the third-largest in Britain (after Avebury Henge and Stanton Drew). The circle has two entrances: one on the NW side and one on the SE.

About 27 stones remain standing today of the Ring of Brodgar, plus about another 10 stone stumps lying where they fell. There may have originally been a total of 60 stones. The surviving stones vary greatly in size (ranging from 2.1 m to 4.7 m in height) and shape, with no evident pairing of similar shapes. The tallest stones are placed at the south (3.8 m) and west (4.7 m) cardinal points.

Holly Hayes
October 27, 2011

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