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Explore Neolithic Orkney and Skara Brae

The Neolithic site of Skara Brae

UNESCO added the Heart of Neolithic Orkney onto the World Heritage List in 1999.

The site is made up of four major Neolithic monuments: Skara Brae, The Ring of Brodgar, The Standing Stones of Stenness and the tomb of Maeshowe.

The monuments are considered to be an outstanding testimony to the cultural achievements of the Neolithic people of Northern Europe.

Historic Scotland cares for and conserves Neolithic Orkney.

Enjoyment and knowledge

Historic Scotland ranger Elaine Clark outlines the history of the 5000-year-old Skara Brae site and explains the work of the rangers in Orkney.

"Skara Brae was discovered after a wild storm in 1850 uncovered the site which had lain buried for thousands of years in the sand dunes at Skaill Bay in Mainland Orkney's West coast.

Skara Brae
Skara Brae is under the care of Historic Scotland

The original excavations were led by the renowned archaeologist Professor V.Gorden Childe in the late 1920s and early 1930s and since that time the responsibility and conservation of the site has been the responsibility of the State.

The Historic Scotland World Heritage Site's Ranger service, working in partnership with Scottish Natural Heritage and the Orkney Islands Council, provides opportunities for both visitors and locals to develop their appreciation, enjoyment and knowledge of the cultural and natural history of the Heart of Neolithic Orkney's World Heritage Site along with the wider Orkney landscape.

Amazing archaelogical heritage

The Rangers, as their name suggests, spend most of their time out and about delivering a busy events programme which runs throughout the year.

Ring of Brodgar standing stone
The Rangers offer daily walks at the Ring of Brodgar in summer

This provides a wide variety of walks, talks and family events aimed at all age groups and levels of interest with the objective of bringing Orkney's amazing archaeological heritage to the widest possible audience, as well as providing many educational initiatives for life long learning.

During June, July and August the Rangers offer daily walks at the Ring of Brodgar which have grown in popularity since they started in 2005 and are now very much established on the visitor trail.

During the summer months the Rangers, helped by their enthusiastic volunteers, spend time with visitors from all over the world.

Positive experience

For some of these visitors it is a lifelong ambition to see the Neolithic monuments in the World Heritage site and for others it's the birds and the open landscape that has attracted them to the islands.

For whatever reason people come to Orkney it is important to the Rangers that they have a really positive experience and take home great memories of their visit."



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