Anonymous benefactor gifts Ness of Brodgar property to the people of Orkney

Lochview, with the Ness of Brodgar dig site in the background.

An anonymous benefactor, with a strong interest in the archaeologial excavations on the Ness of Brodgar, has gifted a property in Stenness to the people of Orkney.

The house, Lochview, is immediately adjacent to the Orkney Research Centre for Archaeology (ORCA) excavations and, over the years, it has become clear to the archaeologists that the Neolithic structures on site run under the house and continue across much of the garden.

Earlier this year it became known that Lochview, formerly the home of the late John Hoey and his wife, Carole, was about to be put on the market.

Aside from the standing stones in the garden, Lochview sits on top of confirmed Neolithic site.

The benefactor, who wishes to remain anonymous, became aware of the impending sale and realised that it was a unique opportunity to secure the future exploration of the Ness of Brodgar excavation site.

The Orkney Heritage Society was approached to see if it would be prepared to accept the gift of the property and to manage it for the future on behalf of the local community. The sale of the house has now been completed and the property is in the ownership of the society.

Leslie Burgher, the chairman of Orkney Heritage Society, commented: “This is an extraordinarily generous donation to the people of Orkney, and we are pleased to have been asked to look after it on their behalf.”

Excavation director Nick Card added: “This is an amazing gift, not just to the people of Orkney but also to the thousands of visitors to the site from every corner of the globe.

“Everything from the tip of the peninsula, down by the Stenness Loch, to Brodgar Farm is one huge archaeological site.

“From previous geophysics scans, it’s clear that there’s a whole range of structures around Lochview – from the ‘Lesser Wall of Brodgar’ and the two standing stones in the garden to the remains of the big mound, which could turn out to be another chambered tomb.

“The gifting of the property will ensure the preservation of the Ness, which is becoming widely recognised, internationally, as a unique site, and also will hopefully help to attract further support.”

Mr Card added: “It is hoped the property will be used during the excavation season as a headquarters for the dig team, but negotiations are under way to look at other options for its use for the rest of the year.”

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