Skara Brae. Photo by Dg5 –Wikimedia commons 

Top 10 Unbelievable facts about Skara Brae


Skara Brae is a stone-built Neolithic settlement. It was located on the Bay of skill on the west of the coast of the mainland. The settlement of Skara Brae was abandoned around 2500Bc. Skara brae was discovered in 150 CE after a storm struck and buried the site. William Watt noticed the exposed stone wall and began the excavations uncovering four stone houses. 

Skara Brae was much further from the sea and was surrounded by fertile land.The settlement had more houses that were lost to the sea 5000years ago

Skara Brae was inhabited before the Egyptians’ pyramids were built and flourished for centuries before the construction of Stonehenge began The houses were built fitting flat stone slabs. they were set into large mounds of midden and linked by covered passages. Each is comprised of a single room with floor space of roughly 40sq.m

In 1999 Skara Brae was named the world’s heritage site. It is no longer referred to as a fascinating village. Since it attracts a thousand visitors who seek  the exciting journey 

some of the unbelievable facts about Skara Brae

1. Skara Brae was the home of Britain’s first farmers

The bones that were found indicated that the folks at Skara Brae were cattle and sheep farmers. They didn’t grow wheat / any seed grain. These folks hunted deer, and fish and ate berries. They also made stones and bone tools, clay pottery, needles, buttons, pendants and other mysterious stone objects.

The folks at Skara Brae consumed wild berries and herbs. Also includes the seabirds and their eggs. Seaweed was used as fuel.

2. Skara Brae was destroyed by a sand storm

It was believed that in 1850 a huge storm hit the island and blew away the sand and allowed a little bit of the village to be seen. The village was believed to have been covered by a sand storm. Most historians believe that the storm caused the villagers to abandon their homes. 

It is believed that the gradual process of abandonment took place over 20/ 30 years. Discoveries have shown that the ness of Brodgar shows that ceremonies were performed for leaving the buildings. Also, significant objects were left behind but assumptions have been made that the objects were left were no longer in fashion.

3. The Furniture survived 


Most of the furniture was made of stone. The archaeologists found beds, dressers, shelves and hearths in the houses. The furniture was made of the same stone as the houses.

4. The houses are all circular

The house was built in a circular shape that was made from stone. Every house was made of 2.5 meters and was connected by the covered passages. The houses were equipped with a single room, a set of drawers opposite the doorway and small tanks on the floor. It also included two beds and a fireplace.

A discovery was made that house number 8 had no storage boxes/dressers. It was divided into resembling cubicles. There were fragments of stone, bone and antler excavated. It showed that the house was used to make tools like bones, and needles/axes.

The homes are opened to air. The historian thinks they once had roofs made from turf, thatched seaweed/ straw.

5. The residents of Skara brae lived peacefully

There is a likelihood of Skara brae residents lived peacefully. Since there was no evidence of any weapon. It was a peaceful population. They did not fight. The population seemed to enjoy the place as the artefacts.

It was believed that Skara Brae had a large wider community. This is because the folks of Skara Brae had contact with other stone age societies within Orkney. Things like goods and ideas were exchanged amongst each other. There is the presence of burial chambers and the standing of Orkney.

6. The artefacts found in Skara Brae

axe from Skara Brae. Photo by Nachosan- Wikimedia commons

During the archaeological excavations, a rich of array artefacts and ecofacts were discovered. They also found gaming dice, hand tools, pottery and jewellery such as necklaces, beads, pendants and pins. These are richly carved stone objects. That was used in religious rituals.

lumps of red ochre were found at the site. This is interpreted as evidence that they practised body painting. Other artefacts excavated on site were made of animals like fish, birds and also whalebone.

7.  Neolithic settlements

Skara brae is among the best-preserved neolithic settlements. in western Europe. Making it a super special find for archaeologists. There are amazing artefacts that were discovered at the site of Skara Brae. This teaches us how the neolithic people built their homes, the tool they used and the food they used to take.

8. Skara Brae was found on the Orkney Island

Skara Brae. Photo by Andy –Wikimedia commons

Skara Brae is one of Britain’s prehistoric villages. Archaeologists made an estimation that it was built between 300BCE and 2500 BCE.  The period was known as the neolithic ers/ new stone age. The village is older than the pyramids


9.  The Skaill house

Skaill House was the finest mansion in Orkney. It was the home of a man who unearthed Skara Brae. Visiting the skaill house will give a chance to see valuable insight into Orkney’s diverse and the exciting past

The house was originally built in 1620 by Bishop Graham. It lies in the neolithic village of Skara Brae and also the southern wing of the skaill house stands on a pre-Norse burial ground.

The house was opened to the public in 1997 after careful restoration of work. Captain cook’s dinner service, Neolithic and Iron Age find Stanely cluster paintings, the Bishop’s original bed and other items of collected by 12 lairds of skaill ar seen around the house.

10. Local landowner William Watt began the excavation of the site

Skara Brae. Photo by DJBWikimedia commons

The landowner William Watt noticed the exposed stone walls. He began excavating the site. He uncovered four stone houses. After he recognized the importance of his findings he contacted the Orcadian Antiquarian George Petrie.

Petrie started working at the site. In 1868 he documented the important finds and excavated further. In 1867 he met the society of antiquaries. The Orcadian writer and historian Dr Ernest Marwick claimed that the story of the discovery of Skara Brae was a complete fiction