Scotland has a wealth of heritage sites, some of which dates back thousands of years.
Some are harder to see than others but are well worth the trip to see these unique places and features.
The Antonine Wall
The Antonine Wall, known to the Romans as Vallum Antonini, runs across the Central Belt of Scotland, Firth of Forth to Firth of Clyde, and marks the furthest point North in the once Roman Empire.
The wall was intended to increase Roman territory and dominance in the region but also acted as a buffer between the Roman Empire and the ‘barbarians’ to the North.
Its construction was ordered by the Roman Emperor Antoninus Pius in AD 121 and took 12 years to complete. it was built by the Roman soldiers who later manned it though it was later abandoned only after 8 years as it couldn’t be held effectively.
It was built with turf / wood on stone foundations with the turf largely weathered away now unlike its stone build southern predecessor, Hadrian’s Wall. The wall is commemorated by a unique group of distance slabs.
See the official website for more information.
Heart of Neolihic Orkney
The Heart of Neolihic Orkney is made up of Skara Brae, Maeshowe, the Stones of Stenness and Ring of Brodgar, together these monuments make up the richest surviving Neolithic landscape in Western Europe.
The group comprises of a major previous cultural landscape and gives a graphic depiction of life of those who lived there; insights into their society, their skills and beliefs of those who constructed them.
For more information, see the Historic Environment Scotland webpage.
New Lanark is a restored 18thcentury cotton mill village on the banks of the River Clyde. The mill was founded in 1786 by David Dale who regularly built and managed cotton mills.
Though David Dale founded the mill, it was David’s son-in-law, Robert Owen, who made it famous today, Robert was a Welsh philanthropist and social reformer.
Management of the mill was transferred to Robert who greatly improved the conditions, facilities and services for the workers and their families. Social improvements included progressive education, factory reform and more humane working conditions.
By 1799, New Lanark was the biggest cotton mill in Scotland with over 2000 people living or working at it. The mill manufactured cotton for nearly 200 years, until 1968, though its buildings still stand today.
Visit their website for more information on New Lanark.
The Old and New Towns of Edinburgh
Edinburgh’s old and new towns form one of the most beautiful cityscapes in the world. Edinburgh itself is built on amazing landscapes of valleys and hills that formed millions of years ago from ice sheets and volcanoes, creating stunning views.
The contrast between the unrefined medieval Old Town and the planned Georgian New Town of Edinburgh provide a clarity of urban structure rarely found elsewhere in Europe.
The Old Town is distinguished by the survival if its medieval ‘fishbone’ street pattern of passageways and courts leading off from the high street. The New Town, designed in 1767, is the largest and best-preserved example of Georgian town planning in the United Kingdom.
See here for more information.
St Kilda is a group of five remote islands in the North Atlantic, 100 miles from the west Scottish coast. The islands not only are one of Scotland heritage sites but also holds mixed cultural and scientific statuses.
The last 36 remaining population were evacuated in 1930 after a dwindling population.
The archipelago is a beautiful landscape of steep cliffs and sea stacks surrounding the village bay. The years of isolation allows the islands to support a unique collection of sheep, field mice and wrens. The Island also an important breeding ground for important seabirds as the northern fulmars and Atlantic puffins.
Find out more information on the St Kilda website.
The Forth Bridge
The Forth Bridge is a 2.5km cantilever railway bridge across the firth of forth, linking Edinburgh to Fife and the highlands. The building of this masterpiece is a tribute to the human creative genius that conquered this natural barrier, a project of this scale and depth had never been overcome before.
The Forth Bridge was designed by English engineers Sir John Fowler and Sir Benjamin Baker and constructed by William Arrol. Its achievements at the time were:
- The biggest cantilever bridge in the world, held till 1917.
- The world’s first near all steel structure
- A major point in both architecture and science
Even today, the bridge still stands as a remembrance to Britain’s once-industrial might and scientific heritage.
See more information about the bridge on their website.