It was the owner of Skaill House, William Watt, the Laird of Breckness, who discovered Skara Brae in 1850 after a big storm. Watt was an ambitious hobby archaeologist and started the excavation of the Neolithic settlement. He unearthed four of the buildings.
After visiting Skara Brae I also did a walk around Skaill House, right next to the settlement. Skaill House is a stunning 17th-century mansion in Orkney with beautiful views all around.
Overlooking the spectacular Bay of Skaill, the house was originally built in 1620 by Bishop Graham and has been added to by successive Lairds over the centuries. (Orkney.com)
The house was opened to the public in 1997 after a careful restoration and resembles the family home from the 1950is.
Captain Cook’s dinner service, Neolithic and Iron Age finds, Stanley Cursiter paintings, the Bishop’s original bed, and many other items of interest collected by the twelve Lairds of Skaill can be seen around the house. (Orkney.com)
Entry to Skaill House is included with the entry to Skara Brae, or if you´re a member of Historic Environment of Scotland the entrance is free, but I would recommend booking a slot for your visit.