Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Hestinsetter Hill,chambered cairn

A Scheduled Monument in Shetland West, Shetland Islands

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Latitude: 60.1949 / 60°11'41"N

Longitude: -1.4752 / 1°28'30"W

OS Eastings: 429201

OS Northings: 1145726

OS Grid: HU292457

Mapcode National: GBR Q1QS.LSJ

Mapcode Global: XHD32.50XS

Entry Name: Hestinsetter Hill,chambered cairn

Scheduled Date: 11 August 1993

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM5730

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric ritual and funerary: chambered cairn

Location: Sandsting

County: Shetland Islands

Electoral Ward: Shetland West

Traditional County: Shetland


The monument consists of the remains of a prehistoric chambered burial cairn, on the summit of Hestinsetter Hill.

The cairn was excavated in 1866, when pottery and cremated bone were recovered. It survives as a low mound of stones, largely grass-covered, in which can be seen a few large earthfast boulders defining the lowest course of the chamber and a possible kerb around the perimeter of the cairn, which has been about 10m in diameter.

The area to be scheduled is circular on plan, 50m in diameter, centred on the cairn, to include the remains of the cairn and an area around in which evidence relating to its construction and use may survive, as indicated in red on the accompanying map.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance as one of a group of hilltop cairns in W Mainland Shetland which, taken together, may provide important information relating to the construction and use of such monuments. Although apparently of late Neolithic form, the recorded discovery of cremated bone might place it at the interface of Neolithic and Bronze Age traditions, which are in any case singularly indistinct in Shetland.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland




Henshall, A. S. (1963) Chambered Tombs of Scotland, 160.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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