BBC Learning Zone Clips

CLIP 469

The Brough of Birsay

The Brough of Birsay
Key Info
  • The Brough of Birsay
  • Duration: 02:25
  • This clip gives reasons why the Brough of Birsay, on the north west coast of the mainland of Orkney, Scotland, was chosen as a settlement by the Norse. It was in a very defensible position surrounded almost entirely by sea and only connected to the mainland by a causeway. The land was fertile with good drainage, and there was abundant fish and seals. Only ruins of the settlement remain today, including longhouses, a church and what archaeologists believe was a sauna. This clip has subtitles available in Flash.
  • Subject:




  • Keywords: Brough of Birsay, Norse, Orkney, Scotland, defence, causeway, fertile, drainage, ruins, sauna, Vikings, Norse, longhouse, village, barn, church, settlement, Scotland, history, subtitled
Ideas for use in class
  • Use this clip to list and discuss the benefits of the position of the settlement on the Brough of Birsay. Locate the causeway on a detailed map of the area.
Background details
  • Clip language : English
  • Aspect ratio : 16x9

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