Scara Brae Archaeological Site

Scara Brae Archaeological Site

Location: Orkney Scotland Map

Open: Apr- Sept: (9:30am- 5:30pm)

Oct- Mar: 9:30am- 4:30pm


Entrance Fee: Apr- Oct: Adult £6.90, Child £4.10

Nov- Mar: Adult £5.90, Child £3.50


Description of Skara Brae Archaeological Site

Scara Brae Archaeological Site

Skara Brae Archaeological Site is located on the Bay of Skaill on the western coast of mainland Orkney, Scotland.  Skara Brae Archaeological Site is a remarkably preserved settlement from Neolithic times (3100- 2500 BC) that is considered to be the best preserved site from the time period. Builders used stone to build furniture, seats, storage boxes and cupboards thus rooms are at the same condition as it was 5000 years ago. Due to its importance and great condition Skara Brae was given a status of UNESCO World Heritage Site. The only thing that is missing are the roofs that were made from wood or whale bone and covered by grass, turf thatch and probably peat to prevent heat loss. Some dwellings have been reconstructed to give an idea what it looked like in the past. Houses are dug out to preserve heat and usually measures at 40 square meters.


No one knows for sure why the people abandoned this site. Probably it was due to weather change that became wetter and colder or maybe due to sea erosion that undermined several buildings. Whatever the cause might be inhabitants of Scara Brae left a time capsule of their daily lives. It was re- discovered in 1850 after a massive storm that killed over 200 people in the area and washed away upper soil levels thus exposing the settlement. William Watt of Skaill, local laird, organized first archeological digs on the site, but it didn't last long. Scara Brae was abandoned until the site was hit by marauders in 1913 and another storm. This time party uncovelered ancient village was damaged by nature's wrath. First professional digs and preservation were undertaken by Professor Vere Gordon Childre from the University of Edinburgh in 1927.


Scara Brae Archaeological Site

Apparently, the primitive inhabitants of Skara Brae manufactured and used striated vessels similar to those of other British villages .

One of the buildings appears naked of all furniture, and divided into small cubicles. It is possible that this house was used as a workshop for the manufacture of simple tools, such as needles or axes, since during its excavation remains of stone, bone and horn were discovered. It is the building with the number 8.

Studies conducted with carbon-14 suggest that Skara Brae has been occupied since approximately 3100 BC. until 2500 BC. , when the weather changed, becoming more humid and cold, and the settlement was abandoned. There are several theories that try to explain this disappearance of the inhabitants of Skara Brae, but none has been able to provide conclusive evidence.