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Watch Stone

Standing Stone(S) (Prehistoric)

Site Name Watch Stone

Classification Standing Stone(S) (Prehistoric)

Alternative Name(s) Bridge Of Brodgar; Barnhouse

Canmore ID 2096

Site Number HY31SW 11

NGR HY 3055 1264

NGR Description HY 3055 1264 and HY 3054 1263

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number AC0000807262. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

  • Council Orkney Islands
  • Parish Stenness
  • Former Region Orkney Islands Area
  • Former District Orkney
  • Former County Orkney

Archaeology Notes

HY31SW 11 3055 1264 and 3054 1263

See also HY31SW 12, HY31SW 61, HY31SW 62.

(HY 3054 1264) Standing Stone (NR)

OS 6" map, Orkney, 2nd ed., (1903).

The 'Watch Stone', a monolith 18 1/2 ft high, 5 ft wide and 16 ins thick, has been provided with a base of modern masonry to secure it.

The stump of a second monolith was found in the bank at the side of the road during road-making operations. It has now been removed but had rested in a hole cut in the shaly rock and had measured 3 ft high by 4 ft 9 ins wide and 5 ins thick. Its base had been packed round with small stones.

'It was aligned exactle NE and SW, i.e. at an obtuse angle to the Watch Stone. If, therefore, the level of the Loch has risen, it is just possible that we may have here the remnant of the SE arc of a great circle...'.

RCAHMS 1946, visited 28 May 1930.

The 'Watch Stone' is as described by the Commission: nothing was seen of the other stone.

Stone and site of stone supplied at 1/2500.

The missing stone was sited to HY 3054 1263, the 'Watch Stone' to HY 3055 1264.

Visited by OS (NKB) May 1966.


Orkney Smr Note

The 'Watch Stone' faces E and W and is the largest of the

upright stones in the neighbourhood, reaching a height of no less

than 18ft 6in, and measuring 5ft in breadth by 16in in thickness.

In 1930, when the bank at the side of the road was cut into

in order to obtain material for repair, the stump of a second

monolith was found close to the edge of the Loch of Stenness and

about 14 yards SSW of the 'Watch Stone'. Unfortunately it has now

been removed. The stump was 4ft 9in wide, 5in thick, and at least

3ft high, while its broken top was immediately beneath the

original surface of the ground. [R1]

Information from Orkney SMR [n.d.]


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