Heart of Neolithic Orkney

Constructed around 5,000 years ago, the four sites that comprise the Heart of Neolithic Orkney are masterpiece of Neolithic design and construction. Together they represent one of the richest surviving Neolithic landscapes in Western Europe and provide an unsurpassed insight into the society, skills and spiritual beliefs of the society that produced them.


Heart of Neolithic Orkney

The Heart of Neolithic Orkney lies in a wider archaeological landscape rich with remains from the Neolithic times and later periods.

Historic Environment Scotland manages and cares for the monuments that make up the Heart of Neolithic Orkney on behalf of Scottish Ministers.  The wider Buffer Zone is managed in partnership with Orkney Islands Council and with support from local and national stakeholders.

Did you know..?

Skara Brae gets a mention in 2008’s Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull – unfortunately, Professor Jones gets the location and the date wrong in his lecture, placing it in the Western Isles and describing it as a Pictish settlement.

In the 12th century Norsemen broke into Maeshowe to shelter from a snowstorm and left runic graffiti all over the tomb walls. This is the largest single collection of runic inscriptions known outside Scandinavia, and a reminder that Orkney was under Norwegian rule until 1469.

In the early 19th century the Stones of Stenness were almost demolished by the tenant farmer who found them a nuisance to plough around.


Location: Orkney Islands. Scotland

Country: Scotland

Year of Inscription: 1999

UNESCO Criteria: (i), (ii), (iii), (iv)