Standing Stones of the British Isles

We went to Salisbury Plain a few days after the Solstice, and this reminded me of the many other standing stones we’ve seen throughout the British Isles over the years.

This was our second visit to Stonehenge – even more people this time of the year, and the weather was much milder.

Further north of the Stonehenge area is the Avebury area, which has, to me, much more spectacular features than its better known neighbour, though not as iconic.
This here is the Silbury Hill – greatest man-made mound in Europe, the size and age of some of the older pyramids in Egypt. Its purpose is unknown, as there doesn’t seem to be anything inside or on top of it.

Just across the road from Silbury Hill is one of the two Kennet Long Barrows

At 100m, it is one of the largest barrows in Britain
The Avebury Circle – what’s left of it – is huge. It encompasses part of the village, including the pub, and is probably the largest in the world. This photo shows just a tiny part of it.
The locals over the ages have removed many stones for construction. Still, what’s left gives a good impression of how the entire thing must have looked like back in the day

‘The Cove’ – a triple formation of stones in the middle of what was one of the smaller concentric circles forming the Avebury complex
Way, way up north from Salisbury, on the wind-swept Orkney there is a set of megalithic monuments rivalling that of the Wiltshire plain. All through the islands the stones are scattered in lesser and greater formation – the Standing Stones of Stenness being one of the most iconic ones

The Maeshowe Barrow is built like the famous Newgrange in Ireland – its entrance pointing at the Winter Solstice sunrise
The Ring of Brodgar, not far from the Stenness Stones, this is the third largest stone circle after Avebury and Stanton Drew, and perhaps one with the best views – sweeping across the Scapa Flow

 

Dwarfie Stane of Hoy – not many tourists even notice the giant slab of rock cast on a hillside, but inside there are tomb chambers carved in solid red sandstone

We now go to Wales – Anglesey. Plenty to see there, from iron age forts to megalithic monuments.
The Bodowyr Dolmen

And the entrance to the Bryn Celli Ddu barrow mound

I have not yet been to Newgrange, so this is the best I’ve got for Ireland. The Poulnabrone Dolmen in the middle of Burren. Hard to notice among all the other naturally strewn boulders.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s