Timeline of Orkney – 6700 BC - 2012 AD

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  • Ring of Brodgar, Orkney
    Ring of Brodgar, Orkney
  • St Magnus Cathedral, Orkney
    St Magnus Cathedral, Orkney
  • The exterior of the Italian Chapel on Lamb Holm, Orkney
    The Italian Chapel on Lamb Holm, Orkney

Orkney's history stretches back over thousands of years and there are many historical attractions you can visit to learn more about Vikings, Neolithic times and wartime battles.

Take a look over the timeline below to see how the history of Orkney fits in with the rest of the world's big events.

3900 BC             The first human settlers are present in Orkney

3800 BC             The climate beings to cool and peat bogs start to develop

3600 BC             The Knap of Howar is built

3400 BC             The Stones of Stenness are built

3200 BC             Skara Brae is occupied by settlers

2750 BC             The tomb of Maeshowe is built

2700 BC             Building begins on the Egypt pyramids

2500 BC             The Ring of Brodgar is built

2500 BC             Skara Brae is abandoned

700 BC               Iron Age dwellings are built

600 BC               The first brochs are built

214 BC               Building begins on the Great Wall of China

100 BC               The Broch of Gurness is built

300 - 800 AD      The Picts are present in Orkney

600 AD               Norsemen begin to arrive

1115 AD             St Magnus is martyred

1137 AD             The St Magnus Cathedral is founded

1231 AD             John Harraldson, the last Viking earl, dies

1263 AD             The Battle of Largs takes place and King Haakon dies

1290 AD             Margaret, the Maid of Norway, dies

1468 AD             Orkney is passed to Scotland as part of a marriage dowry

1486 AD             Kirkwall becomes a Royal Burgh

1492 AD             Christopher Columbus reaches America

1590 AD             The first pub opens in Stromness

1633 AD             Carrick House is built

1666 AD             The Great Fire of London devastates the city

1700 AD             Hudson’s Bay Company begins recruiting

1725 AD             Pirate Gow is captured near Eday

1776 AD             The American Declaration of Independence is signed

1813 AD             The last auk is killed on Papa Westray

1832 AD             The North Ronaldsay sheep dyke is built

1850 AD             Skara Brae is revealed during a storm

1855 AD             The first steam connection is made with Scrabster

1914 AD             Outbreak of the First World War

1916 AD             HMS Hampshire is sunk

1919 AD             A German fleet scuttles itself in Scapa Flow

1939 AD             Outbreak of the Second World War

1940 AD             The building of the Churchill Barriers begins