Opening times 2013: March 10 am -12 noon, Apr - Sep 9.30 am - 5.30 pm Oct 9.30am -12.30pm and Nov - Feb by arrangement
The ‘Tomb of the Eagles’ was discovered by chance by local farmer Ronnie Simison in the 1950s and consists of an amazing collection of bones and artifacts placed here 5,000 years ago.
Half a mile inland from the tomb is a Bronze Age site where excavations have led to important discoveries about how people lived and worked on Orkney 3,000 years ago.
At the visitor centre you can handle some of the original artifacts found at these sites. While the gift shop offers a wide range of items including local crafts and books.
NEW FOR 2013
In addition to the existing galleries focusing on the Stone Age Tomb and the Bronze Age building and burnt mound, a new extension to the Visitor Centre features the lives of Orkney’s first human settlers.
The only permanent exhibition in the UK dedicated to exploring the submerged landscape and the hunter-gatherers who lived there, the ‘Mesolithic Orkney’ gallery showcases cutting-edge research into changing sea levels. It shows visitors how the Orkney landscape may have looked 9,000 years ago, when the first people are believed to have arrived here by boat.
Developed as part of the Scapa Flow Landscape Partnership Scheme, the new exhibition explores the changing world the hunter-gatherers knew, and how their way of life was adapted to their surroundings. The interpretation includes stunning original illustrations, which help bring the story to life, and replica objects which help visitors to understand how these early hunter-gathers lived. These show how bows, arrows and harpoons were made by the Mesolithic people.
The new facilities at the Tomb of the Eagles visitor centre include seating for those who do not wish to go on the coastal walk out to the sites and a dedicated area with games for small children. The new room provides an indoor space for picnics in poor weather, with free wifi available. Adjacent to this room is a drying store for wet weather gear, which can be borrowed on site free of charge if required.
The new exhibition offers a unique insight into Orkney’s distant past, which we hope will attract both visitors and local people. It is a significant addition to the visitor experience in Orkney, and a fitting legacy for Ronnie Simison. His discovery of the Stone Age and Bronze Age sites on his land in the 1950s has evolved into one of Orkney’s leading tourist attractions.