“…beside the lake are stones high and broad, in height equal to a spear, and in an equal circle of half a mile.”

At Stenness stands a stone circle over 4,000 years old. The stones are surrounded by a ditch cut into the bedrock.

Ring of Brodgar - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)
Ring of Brodgar


The Ring of Brodgar was described in the 16th century by Jo Ben in his Descriptio Insularum Orchadiarum as “In height equal to a spear.” 

Ring of Brodgar - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)
Ring of Brodgar


There are a dozen people here, all with cameras looking for a wide-angle sunset photograph with a dramatic sky with characterful clouds. There’s not going to be one tonight. However I try to frame my photograph, there’s always at least one disappointed photographer in there.

Ring of Brodgar - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)
Ring of Brodgar


I walk away, far from the circle, and take a telephoto shot of just some of the stones. They seem to be in conversation with one another. If only we could hear what they have to say.

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