Scheduled Monument

Stenness, stone circle and hengeSM90285

Status: Designated


Where documents include maps, the use of this data is subject to terms and conditions (


Date Added
Last Date Amended
Prehistoric ritual and funerary: henge; stone circle or ring
Local Authority
Orkney Islands
HY 30675 12501
330675, 1012501


The monument comprises a stone circle, henge and all other remains in the area in the care of the Secretary of State for Scotland at the Stones of Stenness. Different names (Ring of Stenness, Stones of Stenness) are used on OS maps of different scales.

The area to be scheduled is the area in the care of the Secretary of State for Scotland containing the henge and stone circle and other remains, measuring 88.4m or thereabouts along its NW side, 85.3m or thereabouts along its NE side and 102.1m or thereabouts along its SE side and bounded on all sides by a fence, as marked in red on the accompanying map extract. The scheduling excludes the fence.

Statement of National Importance

The monument is of national importance, indeed international importance, as part of the core of a mainly third and second millennium BC (although including elements which may be of late 4th millennium BC date) ritual landscape. The stone circle and henge, in an area within which other remains may be expected to survive, give the monument importance both as a field monument and because the area contains important information about religious, ceremonial and funerary practices of late fourth and third millennium societies. The monument is also important because other monuments within a broader area extending to the horizons may have been sited in relationship to it.



Ritchie, J. N. G. (1976)'The Stones of Stenness, Orkney' Proc. Soc. Antiq. Scot. 107 (1975-6), 1'60.

Historic Environment Scotland Properties

Stones of Stenness

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Related Designations

  1. Barnhouse Stone, standing stoneSM90341

    Designation Type
    Scheduled Monument
  2. Watch Stone, stone settings, Barnhouse settlement, and related remainsSM90352

    Designation Type
    Scheduled Monument

About Scheduled Monuments

Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for designating sites and places at the national level. These designations are Scheduled monuments, Listed buildings, Inventory of gardens and designed landscapes and Inventory of historic battlefields.

We make recommendations to the Scottish Government about historic marine protected areas, and the Scottish Ministers decide whether to designate.

Scheduling is the process that identifies, designates and provides statutory protection for monuments and archaeological sites of national importance as set out in the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979.

We schedule sites and monuments that are found to be of national importance using the selection guidance published in Designation Policy and Selection Guidance (2019)

Scheduled monument records provide an indication of the national importance of the scheduled monument which has been identified by the description and map. The description and map showing the scheduled area is the legal part of the scheduling. The statement of national importance and additional information provided are supplementary. These records are not definitive historical or archaeological accounts or a complete description of the monument(s).

The format of scheduled monument records has changed over time. Earlier records will usually be brief. Some information will not have been recorded and the map will not be to current standards. Even if what is described and what is mapped has changed, the monument is still scheduled.

Scheduled monument consent is required to carry out certain work, including repairs, to scheduled monuments. Applications for scheduled monument consent are made to us. We are happy to discuss your proposals with you before you apply and we do not charge for advice or consent. More information about consent and how to apply for it can be found on our website at

Find out more about scheduling and our other designations at You can contact us on 0131 668 8914 or at


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Printed: 05/07/2020 09:27