dancing giants of Brodgar
From the south-west, looking across the water of the Stenness Loch,
the stones that make up the megalithic ring can be difficult to pick out.
In the thick mist that often shrouds the area, however, they become instantly
They have a dominating presence, appearing as, just as the folklore dictates,
lumbering giants, bowed down and bent, as though bearing a great weight.
Approaching the ring from the south-east, these
stone creatures appear to trudge wearily in a clockwise
One dark, starry night, a very long time ago,
a group of fearsome giants crossed the causeway on to the Ness of Brodgar.
across, they gathered in a field that had the Stenness Loch to its left and the
Harray Loch to the right. There, they decided to dance.
From the folds of his
cloak the fiddler took out an ancient fiddle and began a swirling reel. Upon
hearing the music, his companions joined hands then, whooping and shouting like
fools, formed a circle and danced. The ground beneath their feet fairly trembled
as the colossal dancers whirled round and round, faster and faster.
great was their enjoyment of the dance that they forgot to pay attention to the
eastern horizon and lost all thought as to how quickly the night was passing.
before they knew it, the morning sun crept into the sky behind them and with a
shriek and a moan, the newborn rays of light touched the dancing giants.
sooner had the golden light touched their skin than they turned into cold, hard
And there they remained.
this day, visitors to the Ness of Brodgar can see their gigantic petrified bodies, frozen rigid in the circle in which
A short way away from the ring of giants stands all that remains
of the fiddler - the solitary stone now known as the Comet