Skara Brae

Ever since I first heard about Skara Braesome 20 plus years ago (sitting in a dusty Archaeology lecture theatre at the University College of North Wales in Bangor) it has been on my list of places to visit. In fact it was one of the main reasons why we went on holiday to Orkney in the first place.

I knew that the 5000 year old remains of this once thriving little village were remarkably preserved and that the wealth of information gleaned from this site over the years, makes it one of the most important Neolithic monuments anywhere in the world. What I didn’t truly appreciate though, and I don’t think you can until you’ve seen it for yourself, is just how intact the dwellings, workshop and “streets” really are… isn’t difficult at all to imagine what this place must have looked like all those years ago and to put yourself in the place of one of its inhabitants as they went about their daily lives. 

I also didn’t realise the beauty of the location. The buildings that make up Skara Brae huddle together at one end of the magnificent Bay of Skaill, and on a sunny day it is easy to see why our Neolithic ancestors would have found this such an attractive place to settle. Having said that, on a stormy day in the middle of winter then I’m sure the character of the location would be transformed into something much more dramatic and inhospitable. After-all it was one such particularly violent storm in 1850 that revealed the remains of the village for the first time in about 4500 years.

The only slight downside of taking so many shots when you go away for a couple of weeks, is that it takes me so long to work my way through them all. Don’t get me wrong I quite like post-processing, I find it quite relaxing and therapeutic…..and it’s also fun to review the shots and relive the memories that they inspire. However I am slightly reluctant to get out and shoot any new stuff at the moment, because I know I have so many more Orkney images that I want to share.

© Mark Simms Photography (2013)

7 Responses to “Skara Brae”

  1. Vicki (from Victoria A Photography)

    Great shots and I know what you mean about taking too many photos. That first image of the stone interior looks fascinating. I’d love to visit these village remains myself.

    Archaeology is one subject I wish I’d studied in my youth (although I have a stronger interest in Egyptology and embalming, especially the essential oils and spices used in the process).

    • Mark Simms

      Thanks Vicki. We’ve been to Egypt as well, a few years ago now, it’s a fascinating place. Unfortunately it was pre-DSLR photography days.

  2. ckponderings

    Lovely shots, and I know what you mean about the pull of Skara Brae – Pompeii was much the same for me. As for post-processing, I fully sympathise… Cuba is getting to be the bane of my life, lol… 🙂

    • Mark Simms

      Cheers Adrian. I haven’t forgotten about contributions to DLR btw, but work has been really busy and my spare time has been reduced of late with other things. When life begins to settle down again Ill start to look at putting together an article or two….if you’re still interested that is?


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