This site is quite special due to the
fact that it has been occupied for over 4000 years and still retains
remnants and features from each period, starting with the Early Bronze
Age, 2500 BC. There is an Iron Age broch, part of which has been washed
away by the sea. There are wheelhouses, which are unique to the Northern
and Western Isles of Scotland. Inside, wooden beams have been replaced
with stone due to the lack of timber on Shetland, which gives them their
unique character. There are Viking farm houses from the 9th Century
well into the Middle Ages, when settlers from Norway would come in large
numbers to Shetland. And then there’s the ‘Laird’s House’, dating from
the 17th Century, built by the Earl of Shetland and Orkney, after
Shetland had fallen into Scottish hands. Interestingly, just as with
Skara Brae on Orkney, the site was discovered by the land owner after a
heavy storm, who then excavated it. Today, it is maintained by Historic
Environment Scotland. The name Jarlshof itself comes from the novel ‘The Pirate’ (1822) by Sir Walter Scott, who wrote it after visiting the ruins, which were then known as ‘Sumburgh House’. A must see if you’re visiting Shetland!
This is an Iron Age style broch, which was built round about 100 BC and it the tallest of all brochs, as it still preserves its full structure, save the (likely thatched) roof. In fact, it is one of the best-preserved prehistoric buildings of Europe. It is situated on the Island of Mousa, which is now uninhabited, and it can only be reached by boat, which operates between April and September. Storm petrels, European shags and seals can be seen on the island, as well as, a beautiful rugged coastline.
This is a small uninhabited island, which mainly serves as a nature reserve. There you can also find the Broch of Mousa, which is preserved almost in its entirety. The Mousa Boat takes you across for a few hours from April to September, before the stormy winter season begins. We were able to watch birds and seals from the distance and enjoyed the circular walk along the beautiful cliffs before the boat took us back to the mainland of Shetland.
First Day of my Shetland adventure! I’m planning a series with these, one video per full day on Shetland. It’s once again lo-fi, but it has Shetland ponies! 😀
I wanted to vlog, but since it was three of us, it wasn’t possible, so I decided to do a voice-over instead. I will try to improve the sound quality for the next videos, but until then I hope you enjoy this one. 🙂
This is a well-preserved Iron Age style broch from roughly the 1st Century AD. The site was occupied since the Late Bronze Age and originally the peninsular would have been a small island, accessible by a stone causeway. The broch was probably quite impenetrable at the time. It has been restored and is maintained by Historic Scotland, but free to visit. It is quite well preserved for being right next to Shetlands biggest town.