A standing stone outside Structure Twelve?

The tip of what may be a standing stone (highlighted in red) in the annexe outside Structure Twelve today. (Sigurd Towrie)

Some images of the suspected standing stone outside the entrance to Structure Twelve.

The stone is buried deep within what we originally thought was a passage between Structures Twelve and Twenty-Six.

It’s now clear that this is not the case.

Structure Twenty-Six post-dates the construction of the putative corridor, which was blocked before Structure Twenty-Six was built.

Claire is pictured at the eastern entrance of Structure Twelve, which is flanked by a pair of standing stones. The possible third megalith is directly opposite. (Sigurd Towrie)

It now seems that what we have is an enhanced entrance to Structure Twelve, where two standing stones flank a doorway that leads to another substantial standing stone.

This megalith bifurcates the Structure Twelve entrance and its alignment, within a few degrees of east-west, seems to mirror the north-south standing stone in the “central paved area” between Structures One, Twelve and Eight.

The tip of the putative standing stone. (Sigurd Towrie)

The structures in Trench P cluster around a paved area containing this prominent decorated standing stone, which, at present, seems to form a central point to the whole enclosure.

Aligned north–south, the decorated monolith’s eastern face lines up with the central axis of a later building, Structure Ten, as well as the nearby chambered cairn Maeshowe and the equinox sunrise.

The standing stone and the two orthostats flanking the eastern entrance to Structure Twelve. (Sigurd Towrie)

Given the precise alignment to Structure One’s entrance, and the way the surrounding buildings relate to, and respect, it, it seems likely that the stone predates their construction. If so, great care was taken during construction so as not to disturb it.

Although today’s possible second standing stone doesn’t clearly reference Structure Twelve, the feeling on site is that it relates more exactly to the alignment of Structure Twenty-Eight, which underlies (and is therefore earlier) the southern end of Structure Twelve.

The view from the Structure Twelve annexe towards Structure Thirty. (Sigurd Towrie)