The Modern Antiquarian. Stone Circles, Ancient Sites, Neolithic Monuments, Ancient Monuments, Prehistoric Sites, Megalithic MysteriesThe Modern Antiquarian

Skara Brae

Ancient Village / Settlement / Misc. Earthwork


Visited August 1997: I was impressed by Skara Brae, but I still can't help comparing it to the Knap of Howar on Papa Westray. Skara Brae is definitely more complex, better preserved, bigger and more accessible than the Knap of Howar, but it's also blighted by lots of tourists and (albeit on a small scale) the dreaded visitor's centre syndrome.

You are directed around a specific route at Skara Brae. This doesn't take you into any of the houses, so you are always looking down into them (a bit artificial given that there was a roof there once). At the Knap of Howar you can walk into the houses and take a seat. The Knap of Howar is the oldest known inhabited structure in northern Europe, and you can have a picnic in it, while at Skara Brae you get to see some bits through protective glass (I can see that this is necessary, but it still spoils things a bit).

I'm glad we went to Skara Brae, because it is something very special. Worth it if only for the Maes Howe T-shirt I bought in the shop (just kidding).
Kammer Posted by Kammer
18th November 2002ce
Edited 22nd December 2003ce

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