Trip Planner:   Europe  /  UK  /  Scotland  /  Orkney Islands  /  Papa Westray  /  Sightseeing  /  The Knap O' Howar

The Knap O' Howar, Papa Westray

(20+ reviews on the web)
Landmark Tourist Spot
The Knap of Howar on the island of Papa Westray in Orkney, Scotland is a Neolithic farmstead which may be the oldest preserved stone house in northern Europe. Radiocarbon dating shows that it was occupied from 3700 BC to 2800 BC, earlier than the similar houses in the settlement at Skara Brae on the Orkney Mainland.The siteThe farmstead consists of two adjacent rounded rectangular thick-walled buildings with very low doorways facing the sea. The larger and older structure is linked by a low passageway to the other building, which has been interpreted as a workshop or a second house. They were constructed on an earlier midden, and were surrounded by midden material which has protected them. There are no windows; the structures were presumably lit by fire, with a hole in the roof to let out smoke. Though they now stand close to the shore, they would have originally lain inland. The shore shows how the local stone splits into thin slabs, giving a ready source of construction material.The walls still stand to an eaves height of, and the stone furniture is intact giving a vivid impression of life in the house. Fireplaces, partition screens, beds and storage shelves are almost intact, and post holes were found indicating the roof structure.Evidence from the middens shows that the inhabitants were keeping cattle, sheep and pigs, cultivating barley and wheat and gathering shellfish as well as fishing for species which have to be line caught using boats.
With our international travel planner, Papa Westray attractions like The Knap O' Howar can be center stage of your vacation plans, and you can find out about other attractions like it, unlike it, near it, and miles away.
Source
Create a full Papa Westray itinerary
map

Plan your trip to Papa Westray

  • Get a personalized plan

    A complete day-by-day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it

    Refine your plan. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it

    Choose from the best hotels
    and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it

    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.

Plans in Orkney Islands by other users

16 days in Scotland, Wales & England BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES September, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, historic sites, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: September, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 44 days in United Kingdom, Croatia & Greece BY A USER FROM NEW ZEALAND July, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: July, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 38 days in United Kingdom & Paris BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, teens, popular PREFERENCES: July, teens ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 60 days in United Kingdom BY A USER FROM UGANDA July, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: July, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 17 days in Scotland BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA September, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, museums, hidden gems PREFERENCES: September, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 15 days in United Kingdom BY A USER FROM INDIA July, kids, culture, relaxing, historic sites, museums, slow & easy, hidden gems PREFERENCES: July, kids, culture, relaxing, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Slow & easy 38 days in United Kingdom BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA August, hidden gems PREFERENCES: August ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 11 days in Scotland BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, culture, outdoors, historic sites, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: June, culture, outdoors, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 10 days in England & Scotland BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA August, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: August, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 9 days in Europe BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES May, culture, historic sites, museums, hidden gems PREFERENCES: May, culture, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 14 days in United Kingdom BY A USER FROM INDIA July, kids, culture, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, hidden gems PREFERENCES: July, kids, culture, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 9 days in United Kingdom BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES August, culture, historic sites, museums, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: August, culture, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium
View more plans
Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • 3500BC: Europe's oldest known residential property; I just expected George Clarke to come over the horizon at any time...but he didn't  more »
  • Perhaps we were spoiled by our visit to Skara Brae, as this ancient farmstead doesn't have quite the same wow factor. However it's apparently the oldest preserved stone house in Europe, and definitely...  more »
  • Interesting place to visit. Good walk out to the Knap. Very muddy path, but apart from that fine. Great seaside location as it is today. Quite an amazing site from the late Neolithic times.  more »