The Lost City Of Skara Brae

On a rainy winter night in 1850, no one knew that Scotland’s history would be changed forever. A harsh storm blew in from the Bay of Skaill, leaving over 200 inhabitants dead in its wake. It wreaked havoc on the surrounding area, and many probably questioned why such a horrible disaster would fall upon them. But for as much as the storm took away from the people of Scotland, it gave them back something more valuable than they could have ever dreamed.

Those who managed to survive the dreadful weather emerged from their homes to find that the storm had revealed the outline of a village. That’s right, the storm was so powerful that it managed to strip away portions of the earth, unveiling a piece of history so unbelievably intact that many have deemed it “The Scottish Pompeii.” Its proper name, however, is “Skara Brae.”

After that fateful storm in 1850, the inhabitants of Skaill began excavating the subterranean settlement that had been unearthed. They managed to uncover four complete houses before abandoning the site in 1868. No one touched Skara Brae until 1913 when robbers swooped in and stole a countless number of artifacts. After that, the site went untouched for another 11 years. It was only in 1924, when another storm hit the same spot and destroyed a portion of one of the houses that Scotland decided to conduct a proper investigation of Skara Brae. Check out the images below for a tour of this fascinating ancient settlement.

Looking at the condition of these walls, you’d think they were at most a few hundred years old.

Fiore S. Barbato

But, believe it or not, the settlement of Skara Brae is over 5,000 years old!

Tom Bastin

This cluster of eight stone houses is thought to have been constructed during the Neolithic period, with people living in it as early as 3180 BC.

John Burka

The interior remained untouched thanks to its subterranean location.

Christine McIntosh

Each house contained a large room with a hearth that allowed them to cook and keep warm. What did people use for fuel back then? Historians believe they could have used everything from driftwood to dried seaweed and even animal dung. Needless to say, Skara Brae could have used some Febreze. 

Tom Bastin

It appears as though no more than 50 people lived in Skara Brae at any given time.


They even had an advanced drainage system, complete with an early version of the toilet in every home.

Mark Longair

Those who inhabited Skara Brae have come to be known as the “Grooved Ware People,” due to the unique style of pottery found in their homes.


Today, Skara Brae is preserved as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. If you ever find yourself in Scotland, it is open to the public, so be sure to check out this remarkable piece of history for yourself.

John Lord

Don’t forget to SHARE these incredible photos with your friends and family!

H/T: Boredom Therapy

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