Discovering Ancient People: Stone Circles and Tombs

Charleen Anna Louise

Charleen Anna Louise

A Reader’s experience of her first visit to Orkney

by Charleen Anna Louise

Wednesday  morning we woke up to the sun but still windy and it wasn’t very warm which made it slightly difficult in the van to manoeuvre  around but we managed. I made use of the sun and went along the beach collecting shells before heading off to a place called Stenness circle.


Stenness (photo F Grahame)

I had only ever known about Stonehenge so to come across other stone circles that were 1000 years older than Stonehenge was great. Around where the stones were there were also small Neolithic homes and a temple of great importance for those times called Barnhouse.

Stenness 009

Barnhouse (photo F Grahame)

We then went to see a big archaeological dig at a place called Ness of Brodgar.

Ness of Brodgar

Ness of Brodgar ( F Grahame)

The village that they were still digging was 5000 years old but they have also recently found another village or town underneath this one which is 7000 years old [ Mesolithic ] so there’s still so much to learn from this site. We also went to the stone circle called Ring of Brodgar . So much energy from this day .


Ring of Brodgar, Orkney (F Grahame)

Thursday we caught a boat across to an island called ROUSAY . It was raining and rather cold so I had my waterproofs on and all wrapped up. Love being on the sea.

Midhowe Rousay ( B Bell)

Inside Midhowe Cairn Rousay (B Bell)

We spent the day visiting tombs one was called Black Hammer Tomb , another called Knowe of Yarso and another called Taversöe Tuick.

We then went to the  biggest one which was called Midhowe  which we had to do quite a trek to get to right next to the ocean and alongside other ruins from the Iron Age dating back 2000 years. I was tuning into so many energies and for a moment I forgot what time period I was in!

We caught the boat back to the main island and had an early night. I was feeling damp and really would have loved a long hot bath.  Did I mention that it was day 6 and I had not had a shower or washed my hair. Good old baby wipes .

Friday was wet, windy and cold but we still plodded along. We went into a town called Kirkwall and looked around. Ended up in a café having a coffee before heading off to a rather large tomb called Maeshowe 5000 years old!  Inside this tomb was evidence that the Vikings had being in because they had written all over the insides ‘VIKING GRAFFITI! Some say that they had to take shelter inside because of a storm and some say they went inside to rob. I would say both, lovely respectful Vikings!

Maeshowe ( Historic Environment Scotland)

Maeshowe (Photo Historic Environment Scotland)

We spent the rest of the day relaxing and collecting shells along the windy beach.                   


3 replies »

  1. Well, Charleen and Nick, next time you’re in Orkney, staying in your van, and in need of a bath/shower – you can call round oor hoose – you’ll be very welcome to clean yourselves up!

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