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Skara Brae

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Heart of Neolithic Orkney *
Orkn Scara Brae.JPG
Country United Kingdom
Criteriai, ii, iii, iv
Region **Scotland
Inscription history
Inscription1999 (23rd Session)
Passageway to house #7 on the right.

Skara Brae (pronounced /ˈskɑrə ˈbreɪ/) is a large stone-built Neolithic settlement on the Bay of Skaill on the west coast of mainland Orkney, Scotland. It consists of ten houses, and was occupied from roughly 3100–2500BC.[1] It is Europe's most complete Neolithic village. The level of preservation is such that it is a main part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Heart of Neolithic Orkney. This is one of four UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Scotland, the others being the Old Town and New Town of Edinburgh; New Lanark in South Lanarkshire; and St Kilda in the Western Isles.

Discovery and features

Until 1850, Skara Brae lay under years of soil sediment when in the winter of that year a large storm stripped the grass from the large mound known as Skerrabra.

The outline of several of stone buildings was revealed and initial excavations were undertaken by William Watt, the laird of Skaill. It was fully excavated between 1928 and 1930 by Vere Gordon Childe following another storm in 1926.

Related pages


  1. Childe, V. Gordon & D.V. Clarke 1983. Skara Brae. Edinburgh: Her Majesty's Stationery Office. ISBN 0-11491755-8.

Other websites

Coordinates: 59°02′55″N, 3°20′35″W

This article is about a World Heritage Site

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