Heidenheim was first mentioned in the year 742. During that time the double monastery of Heidenheim am Hahnenkamm (housing monks and nuns), was founded by Saint Willibald and was later led by Saint Walpurga who became abbess after his death.
The first stone church was inaugurated in 778 and the next one hundred years later. The remains of current church date from the Romanesque style build constructed in 1182-1188.
The Broch of Gurness is an Iron Age broch village. Settlement here began sometime between 500 and 200 BC. At the centre of the settlement is a stone tower or broch, which once probably reached a height of around 10 metres. Its interior is divided into sections by upright slabs. The tower features two skins of drystone walls, with stone-floored galleries in between. These are accessed by steps. Stone ledges suggest that there was once an upper storey with a timber floor. The roof would have been thatched, surrounded by a wall walk linked by stairs to the ground floor. The broch features two hearths and a subterranean stone cistern with steps leading down into it. It is thought to have some religious significance, relating to an Iron Age cult of the underground.
The remains of the central tower are up to 3.6 metres high, and the stone walls are up to 4.1 metres thick.