Barnhouse Neolithic Site, Orkney with Loch Harray in distance.,

This evening, I am posting information on the Barnhouse Prehistoric Settlement on Orkney, Scotland. This is sited by the shore of Loch of Harray, Orkney Mainland, Scotland and in close proximity to other important Neolithic sites such as Maes Howe, Stones of Stennes and Ring of Brodgar.

The Neolithic period stretches from around 4000 BC to 2500 BC with the Orkney sites usually dated to around 3000 BC.

Summary information:

  • Discovered 1984.
  • Located about 11 miles west of Kirkwall.
  • Comprises 15 small dwellings in various stages of development.
  • The structures were free-standing, circular and probably had timber and turf roofs.
  • There are similarities in design to the iconic Skara Brae site although Barnhouse fell out of use some 450 years before that of Skara Brae.
  • Barnhouse and Skara Brae share common features such as central kerbed hearths, recessed box beds and stone furniture.
  • Two of Barnhouse buildings are larger and more elaborate than the others suggesting high status or religious uses.
  • The buildings appear to have been deliberately destroyed at end of the site’s life. This gives rise to speculation that the site may have been used to house persons associated with the construction phase of Stones of Stennes.

 

Barnhouse building with Loch Harray in background.

Barnhouse Neolithic site with Stones of Stennes in distance.

Stones of Stennes, Orkney, Scotland

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