The Ness of Brodgar

The south-eastern end of the Ness of Brodgar. (Jim Richardson)
The south-eastern end of the Ness of Brodgar. (Jim Richardson)

Ness of Brodgar MapThe Ness of Brodgar is a thin strip of land, in the West Mainland of Orkney, that separates the lochs of Harray and Stenness.

Its name highlights Orkney’s Norse heritage, deriving from Nes – “headland”; Brúar – bridge and garðr – farm. Put together, this translates as the “headland of the bridge farm”.

Part of the Hearth of Neolithic Orkney World Heritage Site, the Ness is covered in, and surrounded by, archaeology. Until the beginning of the 21st century, it was best-known as the site of the Ring of Brodgar, but in 2002 all that changed.

Archaeological excavations on the south-eastern end of the peninsula have since revealed a large complex of “monumental” Neolithic buildings along with “artwork”, pottery, bones and stone tools.

The Ness of Brodgar excavation site lies between the henge monuments of the Stones of Stenness and the Ring of Brodgar and close to the Neolithic settlement at Barnhouse.