Ring Of Brodgar Stone Circle and Henge
The Ring Of Brodgar Stone Circle And Henge, which is part of The Heart of Neolithic Orkney World Heritage Site, is a spectacular stone circle. The ring is surrounded by a large circular ditch or henge. It was one of the first sites to be scheduled in the British Isles (1882).
The truly circular layout of the ring is an unusual attribute that singles it out as one of the largest and finest stone circles in the British Isles.
The Ring of Brodgar (alternative spelling Brogar) comprises a massive ceremonial enclosure and stone circle probably dating from between 2500 and 2000 BC. Around it are at least 13 prehistoric burial mounds and a stone setting (2500-1500 BC).
The erecting of the stones, along with the massive rock cut ditch was an activity that required considerable manpower and organisation.
Heart of Neolithic Orkney World Heritage Site
The Ring Of Brodgar Stone Circle And Henge is part of The Heart of Neolithic Orkney World Heritage Site
(WHS). The WHS of the Heart of Neolithic Orkney includes
- Skara Brae,
- the Stones of Stenness and adjacent standing stones and
- the Ring of Brodgar together with adjacent standing stones and burial mounds.
The first three of these monuments were built before, and used before and during, the first half of the 3rd millennium BC. The Ring of Brodgar took over their pre-eminent role around the middle of the 3rd millennium BC.
All these monuments are exceptionally fine and authentic: relics of the period when great civilisations started to arise across the world. If civilisation amounts to something more than just large numbers of people living in close association, then there is a very small number of ancient centres of this period. The Heart of Neolithic Orkney is one of them.
The architectural achievements of the people living there speak for a level of architectural sophistication which matches that of the centres in Mesopotamia and North Africa. There is a piquant contrast between the small absolute size of the Orkney community 5000 years ago and its exceptional cultural vigour.