Ancient Monuments

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Law Ting Holm,thingstead,Loch of Tingwall

A Scheduled Monument in Shetland Central, Shetland Islands

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Latitude: 60.1733 / 60°10'23"N

Longitude: -1.248 / 1°14'52"W

OS Eastings: 441823

OS Northings: 1143445

OS Grid: HU418434

Mapcode National: GBR R18V.GS9

Mapcode Global: XHD35.5K2B

Entry Name: Law Ting Holm,thingstead,Loch of Tingwall

Scheduled Date: 15 December 1953

Last Amended: 23 February 1996

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM2074

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Secular: meeting place, thingstead, moot hill

Location: Tingwall

County: Shetland Islands

Electoral Ward: Shetland Central

Traditional County: Shetland


The monument comprises a small promontory, once an island, on which by tradition the Law Ting, or senior law-giving assembly, of Shetland met each summer, between the 11th century and the mid-sixteenth century. There is no reason to doubt the veracity of this tradition, and the location is typical: a place on which a small assembly would be clearly visible to spectators yet also able to proceed without interruption. The proximity of the former head church of Shetland also adds weight.

The physical remains take the form of a small mound at the end of a promontory at the N end of Loch of Tingwall, not far from the old and present churches of Tingwall, in pre-Reformation times the head church of the islands. The mound appears to have been little modified, although a report states that the stones on which various officials sat were present there until removed during the 18th century, and traces of former dispositions may survive below the turf. The most obvious feature today is the carefully-built stone causeway, just over 40m long and 1.7m wide, which stretches from the mound to the N shore of the loch. Traces of walls can be seen at both the Holm and the landward ends of the causeway, but these are probably of more recent date.

The area to be scheduled is irregular on plan, with maximum measurements of 130m N-S by 125m E-W, to include the mound, causeway, traces of walling and an area around these features, including a part of the loch bed normally submerged, in which traces of other structures and associated archaeological deposits may survive. The area is shown in red on the accompanying map extract.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland


No Bibliography entries for this designation

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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