#Touring #Scotland – Orkney’s Neolithic village, SKARA BRAE

Orkney’s most famous Neolithic site (and if you’ve been following my posts, you must by now realise there are a LOT of them), is the extremely well preserved stone age village SKARA BRAE

From Wikipedia: “Consisting of eight clustered houses, it was occupied from roughly 3180 BC to about 2500 BC and is Europe’s most complete Neolithic village. Skara Brae gained UNESCO World Heritage Site status as one of four sites making up “The Heart of Neolithic Orkney“. Older than Stonehenge and the Great Pyramids, it has been called the “Scottish Pompeii” because of its excellent preservation.”


Once again, walking around this astounding site was totally absorbing, even with other people present. The sense of ancient history wells up from the stones beneath your feet, entrancing and humbling that a civilization so ancient as this, could build in such an enduring manner that we are still able to see much of what their homes were like.

I have my doubts about anything we build now lasting in similar fashion!

When you first arrive, you pass through the visitor centre, and then into a reconstruction of what things might have looked like when the buildings were intact.


The village was first revealed in 1850, following a severe storm. The owner of the land carried out some excavations but abandoned them in 1868 after uncovering 4 houses. In 1913 the site was plundered and nobody knows what was removed. In 1924 another storm swept part of one of the houses away, and only after that was the site properly secured and investigated, and yet it is still an amazing thing to experience.

These people were really ingenious in their use of waste material

Here is the real version of the mock up we walked through at the start. You can also see how very close this is to the shore, and always in danger of damage in severe weather.

Isn’t that awesome? To think how old this place is, and yet still this structurally sound?

I reckon modern builders could take some inspiration here…


  1. Yes it is awesome Deb. So fascinating and inventive for the times for sure. I love the colored stones and how they’re incorporated into makeshift furniture. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They clearly had a sense of artistry as well as practicality, I think it shows that the human race really hasn’t changed at a fundamental level I a very long time.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. True dat! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I am so happy Sue posted a link to this – this is one of the places we had determined to see in Scotland this year. Unfortunately our trip got cancelled (so what is new?) but it’s on for next year. Can’t wait, even if it’s more than another year – this site looks amazing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s the size of things this year, sadly, but I’m glad I was able to give you a sneak preview – it’s quite an experience, I can assure you 🙂


    1. Thanks for sharing 😀


  3. […] House is the finest 17th Century mansion in Orkney, and home of the man who unearthed Skara Brae in 1850. Once you have finished marvelling at the incredibly well preserved Neolithic site, you […]


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