The Bay of Skaill

the wide sweep of the bay of Skiall when the tide is out

The great beauty of the Bay of Skaill in Orkney’s West Mainland has evidence of human habitation from the earliest of times. It is the site of the remains of what was once a Neolithic village, Skara Brae, now a UNESCO World Heritage site.

a partially submerged houses and buildings of Skara Brae rediscovered under the sand dunes
Skara Brae, Neolithic village in Orkney

Beside Skara Brae, just a bit further inland is the residence of the Laird, Skaill House.

View up the double curved stone staircase to the front of Skaill House

Every period of human settlement is represented in this bay, and being Orkney, it includes the remains of an Iron Age Broch, Verron.

There’s not much left of the broch but when you stand there beside where it once stood you can see why the site was chosen.

The Bay is still forming and the coastal erosion threatens the continued existence of the Skara Brae village.

And every now and again the crumbling coastline reveals something new: Decorated rock discovered at Orkney’s Bay of Skaill

These ancient rocks remind us of how inconsequential we are in this planet’s existence and how precious this environment is.

the bay at Skaill with low tide and the flat bed rock exposed

Fiona Grahame

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