Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Gallow Hill,cairns SW,S and south east of

A Scheduled Monument in Shetland West, Shetland Islands

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Latitude: 60.2409 / 60°14'27"N

Longitude: -1.5356 / 1°32'8"W

OS Eastings: 425816

OS Northings: 1150827

OS Grid: HU258508

Mapcode National: GBR Q1KN.WMZ

Mapcode Global: XHD2N.DVDJ

Entry Name: Gallow Hill,cairns SW,S and SE of

Scheduled Date: 8 February 1993

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM5562

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 a group of four prehistoric burial cairns, one on the S summit of Gallow Hill and the others on its S and SE slopes.

The highest cairn stands at the S end of the ridge of Gallow Hill. It is approximately 10m in diameter and is edged by a kerb of large boulders. The interior, which rises to 1.4m high, has two protruding upright slabs, probably the remains of the central burial chamber.

to the SE, 110m away and 10m lower, the second cairn is of similar dimensions, but lacks the kerb. Once again, there are upright stones in the body of the cairn which suggest the collpased presence of either an internal chamber or a passage. The third cairn lies 235m to the E of the second. It is 18.0m in diameter, and edged with a kerb of large stones which in places are buried by the surrounding peat.

No internal features are visible. The fourth cairn lies 175m NE of the third. It is much more massive, being 27m in diameter, with a kerb of massive boulders. This cairn has been much robbed, but in the centre are the remains of what was a circular chamber some 2.3m in diameter, with a possible entrance passage leading from the NE.

The area to be scheduled is in four portions, each circular and 50m in diameter, to include each cairn and an area around in which evidence for their construction and use may survive, as marked in red on the accompanying map.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance as a group of four burial cairns of varied size and type, which taken together offer the possibility of comparative study of burial ritual. They are located near to several extensive areas of settlement, and appear to be at least as early as some of the major local Neolithic land boundaries, so in addition are important as an element in one of the largest semi-continuous area of Neolithic landscape in Scotland.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS records the site as HU25SE 2.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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