Ancient Monuments

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Cunningsburgh,steatite workings north and south of Catpund Burn

A Scheduled Monument in Shetland South, Shetland Islands

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Latitude: 60.0254 / 60°1'31"N

Longitude: -1.2414 / 1°14'28"W

OS Eastings: 442382

OS Northings: 1126981

OS Grid: HU423269

Mapcode National: GBR R287.KW0

Mapcode Global: XHD3Y.78RP

Entry Name: Cunningsburgh,steatite workings N and S of Catpund Burn

Scheduled Date: 6 April 1987

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM4521

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Industrial: mines, quarries

Location: Dunrossness

County: Shetland Islands

Electoral Ward: Shetland South

Traditional County: Shetland


The monument consists of remains of ancient steatite workings on the hill slopes north and south of the Burn of Catpund, Cunningsburgh. The area proposed for scheduling is the main concentration of the known ancient workings comprising 74% of them; those omitted are sparsely scattered over the hillside to the north of the proposed area. The remains of steatite working are of several types: markings on rock surfaces appearing as chisel marks, marks of items already chiselled out or as incomplete and undetached artefacts; quarry pits; spoil tips associated normally with visible quarry pits. The tips have produced artefacts discarded during the process of manufacture; similar artefacts have been found outwith the visible tip areas.

The proposal includes post medieval structures on the sides of the Catpund burn and within the area proposed for scheduling; they include examples of small deserted farms. In several places the remains appear to overlie earlier structures and they are included to protect underlying archaeology. 2 homesteads north of the area proposed here for scheduling will be the subject of a separate proposal.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

There is strong academic interest in the workings in both Britain and Scandinavia. The outcrop has been exploited in the period 2000-500 BC and in the norse and medieval periods. The main period of exploitation appears to have been the norse period, when this seems to have been the main source of steatite west of the North Sea. The monument is of national importance to studies of early industries, understanding of the norse period, and to studies of the contents and dating of norse settlements.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS records the site as NT64NE 4.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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