What are standing stones?

Calanais Standing Stones colourful sky

When the first settlers arrived in Scotland over 10,000 years ago, they began to erect incredible monuments, some of which can still be seen today.

What do they mean?

Ring of Brodgar dawn

The purpose of these stones is a puzzle that modern day archaeologists can only speculate over; these ancient sites may forever remain shrouded in mystery. Many sites are believed to have been used for religious or ceremonial purposes. Let your imagination take you back thousands of years in time.

Where can I find them?

Machrie moor stand stones sun

There are many ancient sites in Scotland, each with a tale to tell. Orkney and Shetland have a particularly prevalent number of standing stones but you can also find them in Dumfries & Galloway and Argyll.

Standing stones facts and myths

The 12 Apostles

The 12 Apostles near Dumfries is the largest stone circle in mainland Scotland, and the seventh largest in Britain.

Calanais Standing Stones

Calanais Standing Stones couple beautiful day

The Calanais Standing Stones on the Isle of Lewis are believed to be 3000 - 5000 years old. In the 17th century, the people of Lewis called the stones fir bhrèige, or 'false men'.

Machrie Moor Standing Stones

Machrie Moor stand stones

Machrie Moor on the Isle of Arran may have once been used for observing astronomical activities.

Ring of Brodgar

Ring of Brodgar

The Ring of Brodgar comprises 27 stones and is part of the Heart of Neolithic Orkney World Heritage Site.

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