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Skaill House

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Address: Skaill House Breckness ESTATE, Stromness KW16 3LR, Scotland
Phone Number:
+44 1856 841501
09:30 - 17:00
Closed now
See all hours
Sun - Sat 09:30 - 17:00
Recommended length of visit: <1 hour

Skaill House is the finest 17th Century mansion in Orkney. Home of William...

Skaill House is the finest 17th Century mansion in Orkney. Home of William Graham Watt, 7th Laird of Breckness, who unearthed the World famous neolithic village of Skara Brae in 1850. Covering thousands of years of history, Skaill House is renowned for its contribution to Orkney's diverse and exciting past. The house was originally built in 1620 by Bishop George Graham (Bishop of Orkney 1615-1638), and has been added to by successive generations over the centuries. In its 400 year evolution, all 12 Lairds have been related, contributing to the history and collections in the house. Today, after careful restoration work, the house is open to the public and entry is included in a joint ticket with Skara Brae, which is just a 200m walk away. There are many rooms to explore and stories to uncover. Visitors can experience a family home as it was in the 1950s, and discover the items collected by the family since the 17th Century. Neolithic and Iron Age finds, Captain Cooks's dinner service, the Bishop's bed , and Stanley Cursiter paintings are a few of the many fascinating items on exhibition here. Children are very welcome here at Skaill House, and can join in our much loved Viking hunt as they explore the rooms of the house. The house abounds with ghost stories to capture their imagination during their vis

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 187 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 58
  • 77
    Very good
  • 33
  • 5
  • 1
Very near Scara Brae

A short walk from Scara Brae is Skaill House. The history of the house is interesting as are the artefacts and pictures. Well worth a visit.

4 of 5 bubblesReviewed 31 January 2017
Susan H
Northwich, United Kingdom

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187 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 174: English reviews
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
33 reviews
24 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

On the same settlement of Scara Brae is Skaill House which is full of antiques and taxidermy. There isn't a lot of information available and it's not the most exciting landmark on Orkney.

Thank Krimson_17
Northwich, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
85 reviews
44 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 31 January 2017

A short walk from Scara Brae is Skaill House. The history of the house is interesting as are the artefacts and pictures. Well worth a visit.

Thank Susan H
Level Contributor
48 reviews
26 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 November 2016

Skaill house is open in summer and a ticket for Skara Brae Neolithic village gives joint entry to both. Do not expect a stately home. It was lived in until the end of the 20th century and is an example of a rich Orkney landowners house, packed with quirky items which the family have collected over the centuries. There is... More 

1 Thank peediequine
Dundee, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
42 reviews
34 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 October 2016

The skaill house is the residence of the owner of the land that Scara brae was excavated. The house itself has a few ghostly stories, and very interesting.

1 Thank george n
Level Contributor
50 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 October 2016

Must see this in connection with your visit to Skara Brae! Very interesting family history with lots of stuff pertaining to wars the family have been part of and how long they have been in the area.

1 Thank Sue B
High Easter
Level Contributor
13 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 October 2016 via mobile

I visited Skaill House as part of a visit to Scara Brae. Interesting to experience the history of the house once owned by the man who actually discovered Scara Brae. The house has sufficient detail without feeling over informed and there is clear signage from room to room. Well worth visiting.

1 Thank Margaret J
Glasgow, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
153 reviews
40 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 October 2016

On entering you do feel as though you're walking back in time. Lots of family memorabilia so you do come away with the feeling of seeing into the lives of the family who have lived there.

1 Thank Anne F
Level Contributor
208 reviews
74 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 203 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 September 2016

As this is included in the admission to Skara Brae it is worth a short visit. It is a typical 17C manor house, with artefacts therein and part of a historic site possibly built on Norse or Pictish buildings.

Thank Tourman2
Bromley, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
124 reviews
48 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 90 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 September 2016

If you visit Skara Brae, this is included in your entry price (remember - Historic Scotland accepts English Heritage membership). Lots of interesting local artefacts in a fine old house, but small rooms and narrow staircases.

Thank flugelist
Tain, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
31 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 September 2016 via mobile

We visited Skara Brae but returned a few days later to do Skaill house. Its a beautiful old house with some fantastically preserved history.

Thank Duncankotlewski

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