The Heart of Neolithic Orkney
Heritage Site - christened the Heart of Neolithic Orkney - covers
the area of the West Mainland parish of Stenness surrounding the Ring o' Brodgar as well as the village of Skara Brae in the neighbouring
parish of Sandwick.
The designation not only includes the area's major
sites - monuments such as Maeshowe,
the Ring o' Brodgar and the Stones of Stenness -
but also the less well-known sites in the area. The
Watch Stone, the massive monolith that stands sentinel by the
Brig o' Brodgar is one such inclusion, as is the Barnhouse
Stone and the Barnhouse Settlement.
But just as important, in an area that is particularly
rich in archaeology, the World Heritage Site designation protects
the multitude of unexcavated sites that are dotted across the area.
Historic Scotland, who manage the four main sites,
are consulting other local organisations as well as the community
to produce what they describe as a management plan.
This, they say, will ensure the conservation of
the sites as well as informing people of the cultural and educational
value of the entire area.