Ring of Brodgar / Isle of Mainland ***

Region: Orkney Islands

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This is a very large Neolithic henge, with a diameter of 104 metres at the furthest point between stones, and a diameter of 130 metres when measured across the outer ditch. The stones have stood for 4,000 to 4,500 years (older than both the Pyramids and Stonehenge!) so a fair few of them will have succumbed to the elements and you can see one stone that bears the scars of a lightning strike.

The Ring of Brodgar might have been used as a meeting place for ceremonies. Archeological finds would suggest that its use involved feasting and commemorating the dead. Located in a natural amphitheater surrounded by hills and flanked on either side by Loch of Harray and Loch of Stenness makes it a very public location.

Orkney's Neolithic heartland - the area surrounding the Ring of Brodgar - was added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1999.

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