Top 3 Scottish Stone Circle Legends

Callanish Stone Circle

The Callanish Stone Circle are on the Isle of Lewis, in Scotland’s Outer Hebrides. They are thought to have been built between 2900 and 2600BC. Sometime later, a tomb was built inside the circle. There are 2 small circles and 1 large stone circle. The main stone circle consists of 13 stones, with a large stone in the center. This stone is almost 5 meters high and its sides are almost perfectly aligned to the north and south. The main stone circle is just over 11meters in diameter. Outside of this main circle, is a further 33 stones. Local legends state that the stones came about when the giants refused to convert Christianity, the missionaries turned them to stone. A second legend states that during the Summer Solstice, a spirit known as ‘The Shining One’ walks around the stones.

The Ring of Brodgar

The Ring of Brodgar is a stone circle on the largest Island of Orkney, off the north coast of Scotland. The site has not allowed scientific dating, but it is estimated that the stones date back to between 2500 and 2000BC. This circle is the 3rd largest in Britain and is 104 meters in diameter. Although there were originally 60 stones, only 27 remain. The tallest stone is 7meters tall. It is thought they were built here due to their position to view the Equinox and Solstice. A local legend states that giants had crossed a local causeway onto a field and began to dance. However, they lost track of time, and during sunrise, the rays of light turned them to stone. There is another stone circle 1 mile away, known as the Standing Stones of Stennes. These 4 stones are around 6meters tall and date back to 3100BC. This makes them one of the oldest stone circles in Britain.

Machrie Moor

Machrie Moor Standing Stones are on the Isle of Arran on the West Coast of Scotland. In total, there are 6 stone circles on the moor. The main stone circle is almost 14 meters wide annd is thought to have consisted of 8 tall sandstone slabs. Only 3 still stand today, along with some broken slabs. The tallest stone is 4.9 meters high. The stone circles date back to around 2000BC, however there is evidence of timber circles prior to this. Some of the other stone circles on the moor are made from Granite. The circles look onto spot on the skyline where the Machrie Glen is divided into 2 steep valleys. This spot is intersected by the sun at sunrise during the Summer Solstice. One of the circles is known as ‘Fingals Cauldrens Seat. This is due to one of the stones having a hole in it. While Fingal the Giant ate his meal in the circle, he would tether his dog through the hole in the stone. Another legend is that Fairies would sit on top of the mountains and flick pebbles onto the moor below. The pebbles formed the stones of the stone circles.


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