Hill o' Many Stanes

Why are 200 stones aligned in a pattern in this field (and there were probably 600 to start with). What was there purpose? This is the most striking and most mysterious of the stone lines in Caithness. Just off A99 South of Wick and easy to visit. (signposted)


The Hill o’ Many Stanes is the largest and best preserved of several multiple rows of small stones which were erected by the inhabitants of Caithness and eastern Sutherland, around 4,000 years ago. 

The 200-plus stones, none of which are more than waist height, are arranged in at least 22 rows. These rows fan out slightly as they descend the south-facing slope. In the last 100 years, 50 stones may have been lost. If the pattern was once complete there would probably have been some 600 stones covering the hillside.

Stone rows, like stone circles, may have been used for gatherings and religious ceremonies. It is also possible that they were used to follow the solar and lunar cycles. What is clear is that considerable time, effort and organisation were expended by the Neolithic farming community to create this strange arrangement.

Similar multiple stone rows are also found on Dartmoor in south-west England, and Carnac in southern Brittany. 

Travel Directions to Hill o' Many Stanes

Follow sign from A99 and drive down minor road for half a mile and the field is on the left. There is limited parking and the site is quiet.

75 Print Friday, 29 January 2016

Latest in Tours

  • The One Day Loch Ness Tour from Edinburgh

    This is our most popular day trip the Highlands covering Loch Ness and Glencoe and taking in some of the most dramatic scenery of the Scottish Highlands. Visit Glencoe and perhaps a cruise on Loch Ness cruise and visit to Urquhart Castle. Runs 360 days a year.

  • Loch Lomond, Trossachs & Stirling Castle Day Tour from Edinburgh

    This one day tour from Edinburgh takes you to Loch Lomond, the Trossachs National Park and Stirling Castle, and introduces you to the land and legends of Scottish heroes William Wallace and Rob Roy. Runs everyday, all year.

  • Rosslyn Chapel, Melrose & Glenkinchie Distillery Day Tour

    Travel South from Edinburgh to visit Rosslyn Chapel (of the 'Da Vinci Code'),  explore Melrose Abbey, and then be travel from the spiritual to the spiritful with a tour and dram at Glenkinchie Distillery! Mondays, Thursdays & Saturdays all year.

  • 1 Day Holy Island, Alnwick Castle Tour

    1 day tour into the Medieval Kingdom of Northumbria in North-East England; once the most important centre of religious learning and arts in the British Isles.  Visit the Holy Island of Lindisfarne and explore the medieval market town of Alnwick and its stunning castle. Tuesdays, Wednesday, Fridays and Sundays, April-October from Edinburgh.

  • Mountains, Lochs & Castles Day Tour from Edinburgh

    Something of an Outlander in a day with its visit to Doune Castle.  Experience scenic lochs, impressive mountains, historic castles, visit a pretty Highland village and explore the picturesque lochside town of Inveraray. Runs Daily all year.

Latest in Cottages

Latest Castles & Monuments