United Kingdom
Stenness

Here you’ll find travel reports about Stenness. Discover travel destinations in the United Kingdom of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

6 travelers at this place:

  • Day22

    Brochs and Broughs

    August 26, 2017 in the United Kingdom

    Through our very helpful B and B hosts we had managed to secure another hire vehicle - a lumbering Citroen Relay van which would do us until our late night ship to Shetland Islands the next day. Prior to pick up however we had a morning to fill and so decided to explore the Broch of Gurness. Brochs are unique to Scotland. There are over 500 of these towers throughout northern and western Scotland and the islands.

    The Broch of Gurness is an Iron Age settlement, one of 6 on the mainland, which faces 5 on the shores of the nearby island of Rousay. Between them lies the shores of Eynhallow Sound, an important navigational route and food source. Before excavation in 1929, Gurness was simply a large, grass-covered mound. Indeed there are yet-to-be-discovered settlements lurking amongst the mounds on Orkney - Orcadians have a bit of a thing about mounds.

    We found that the best way to really get a feel for this site was to walk down what would have been the entrance way (this is more effectively captured by video than photograph). Partially eroded by the sea, the layout of the village is still very evident and if you close you're eyes it's almost possible to imagine the sights, sounds and smells of this productive village.

    Further north lay the Brough of Birsay. Both Brough and Birsay derive from the Norse word borg, meaning fortified place and it's easy to see how this fortified island village would have been an effective barrier to invasion. Accessible only for a couple of hours either side of low tide, this island village shows evidence of Pictish, Norse and medieval occupation. Picts (meaning Painted People) lived in northern Scotland between 300 and 800 AD and were probably descendants of the Iron Age population. They left no written records so little is known about them. We found it difficult to differentiate between buildings from the different periods, which were sometimes built on top of earlier occupations. Either that or perhaps we'd saturation point on the historic front. A long walk to a spectacular lighthouse overlooking an equally spectacular coast line revived our enthusiasm. Sufficient at least for us to head out for a night of traditional Orcadian music at a local pub.
    Read more

  • Day86

    A little bit of the past

    August 25 in the United Kingdom

    Erst ein kleiner Ausflug nach Stromness mit einem schönen Ausblick auf die Insel Hoy, dann zum Unstan cairn (ein kleines begehbares Hügelgrab) und schließlich zu den Standing Stones of Stenness und den Ring of Brodgar. Im Gegensatz zu Stonehenge sind diese Steinkreise kostenfrei zu besichtigen. Auch hier ist man noch am grübeln wofür die stehen. 5000 Jahre alte Geschichte ist schwer zu interpretieren.Read more

  • Day10

    Standing stones of Stenness

    September 15 in the United Kingdom

    Possibly the oldest standing stones in Britain, some of them aren’t there anymore because the farmer who owned the land got annoyed that people would walk on his property to see them that he started knocking them down.

    Even in the 18th century the site was still associated with traditions and rituals, by then relating to Norse gods. Other antiquarians documented the stones and recorded local traditions and beliefs about them. One stone, known as the "Odin Stone" which stood in the field to the north of the henge, was pierced with a circular hole, and was used by local couples for plighting engagements by holding hands through the gap. It was also associated with other ceremonies and believed to have magical power. There was a reported tradition of making all kinds of oaths or promises with one's hand in the Odin Stone; this was known as taking the "Vow of Odin".Read more

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Stenness

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