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Historic Sites and Monuments in Scotland

Scotland's historic sites and monuments span the centuries, from Neolithic standing stones such as the famous circle at Calanais on Lewis to 20th-century sites such as the Churchill Barriers on Orkney.

Scotland built heritage is especially rich in early monuments, with its variety of chambered cairns, standing stones, later souterrains and hillforts, along with the evidence of the Romans at places like the Antonine Wall and its associated sites. Circular-walled brochs are a uniquely Scottish category and a speciality of the north. Later still are the mysterious Pictish carved standing stones.

Trade and commerce brought its own category of historic sites – picturesque harbours surviving at places like Crail, Portpatrick and Dunbar, curiosities and memorials to enterprise such as the Whaligoe Steps in Caithness.

Bridges are another important symbol of improved communications – with interesting survivors such as Scotland’s oldest multi-arched surviving bridge, the Devorgilla Bridge at Dumfries, as well as the famous Wade Bridge at Aberfeldy. Canals, such as the Crinan Canal and the Forth and Clyde Canal are also a reminder of a whole category of industrial monument, well-preserved in Scotland today.

Some sites even achieve a kind of iconic status, with the mighty Forth Rail Bridge seen as a symbol of Victorian confidence in working with iron and steel.


Shetland Orkney Northern Highlands Western Isles Skye & Lochalsh Inverness, Loch Ness & Nairn Aberdeen & Grampian Highlands Aviemore and the Cairngorms Fort William & Lochaber Argyll & Bute Perthshire, Angus & Dundee Loch Lomond, Stirling & the Trossachs Ayrshire, Arran & Clyde Valley Glasgow Dumfries & Galloway Kingdom of Fife Lothians & Borders Edinburgh


Calanais Standing Stones (HS)

Historic Sites & Monuments »

Great stone circles, elaborate burial cairns, rock faces carved with abstract designs and Pictish symbol stones - a permanent reminder of Scotland's past.

Heritage Centres & Ships »

Discover more about Scotland's battlefields and birthplaces, it's old jails, and onboard its' historic ships.

Scottish Abbeys, Churches & Cathedrals »

From simple Norman chapels to splendid abbeys and handsome parish churches with fascinating graveyards - Scotland's Christian heritage covers over a thousand years.

Castles & Stately Homes in Scotland »

Ancient strongholds, royal palaces, grand tower houses and great mansions all have played a part in Scotland's story.

Historic Buildings in Scotland »

Thatched blackhouses, buried ice houses, dovecots, mort houses and waterworks – modest buildings with a fascinating past.