Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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The Spinner,cairn

A Scheduled Monument in Shetland West, Shetland Islands

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Latitude: 60.2892 / 60°17'21"N

Longitude: -1.613 / 1°36'46"W

OS Eastings: 421498

OS Northings: 1156177

OS Grid: HU214561

Mapcode National: GBR Q1CJ.X8N

Mapcode Global: XHD2F.CNZ0

Entry Name: The Spinner,cairn

Scheduled Date: 22 January 1993

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM5542

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric ritual and funerary: cairn (type uncertain)

Location: Walls and Sandness

County: Shetland Islands

Electoral Ward: Shetland West

Traditional County: Shetland


The monument consists of the remains of a prehistoric burial cairn. The cairn is set on the summit of The Spinner, a hill commanding a wide view over cultivated land to the N. It is circular on plan, about 8m in diameter. Near the centre is a large stone box, or cist, now lidless, which formerly contained human remains. This cist is 1.5m by 1.1m, and its unusually large size suggests this may be an early Neolithic burial place rather than a Bronze Age one, as might be assumed from the plan of the cairn.

The area to be scheduled is circular, 50m in diameter, to include the cairn and an area around in which traces of other burials, together with evidence relating to the construction and use of the cairn, may survive. The area is marked in red on the accompanying map.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance as a cairn of unusual type. Its plan suggests a Bronze Age date (cist within round cairn) but the size of the cist is unusually large, and there is the possibility that this may, instead, be a burial place of the type found at Sumburgh, which was a cisted multiple burial of a period pre-dating the typical Shetland heel-shaped cairns of the Neolithic period. The cist appears to have been emptied, but dating evidence may survive below the body of the cairn.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS records the monument as HU25NW 4.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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