Ancient Monuments

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Kirk Score, chambered cairn, settlement and field system, Russa Ness

A Scheduled Monument in Shetland West, Shetland Islands

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Latitude: 60.2057 / 60°12'20"N

Longitude: -1.3419 / 1°20'30"W

OS Eastings: 436580

OS Northings: 1146998

OS Grid: HU365469

Mapcode National: GBR R11R.MV8

Mapcode Global: XHD2X.XRV0

Entry Name: Kirk Score, chambered cairn, settlement and field system, Russa Ness

Scheduled Date: 6 August 1993

Last Amended: 28 February 1997

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM5718

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric domestic and defensive: field or field system; Prehistoric ritual and funerary: chambere

Location: Tingwall

County: Shetland Islands

Electoral Ward: Shetland West

Traditional County: Shetland


The monument comprises the extensive remains of a prehistoric settlement and also a prehistoric chambered burial cairn. The S part of the monument was scheduled in 1993, but subsequent field visits have revealed more, well-preserved, archaeological remains to the N. Hence this extension.

The monument is situated on a ESE-facing slope near the S end of Russa Ness. There are at least 3 house-sites, of a type normally assumed to be pre-Iron Age in date, and the remains of a probable Neolithic chambered burial cairn. These are surrounded by a pattern of irregular fields, defined by low stone walls and terraces. The area has been used for later cultivation, and a more regular pattern of fields overlies a small part of the hillside, perhaps associated with a small, ruined, rectangular enclosure.

Two of the prehistoric houses lie on the upper part of the formerly cultivated slope, at about 50m OD and 250m apart, while the third lies downslope from the more southerly of these. All 3 are oval on plan and have large upright stones set internally, marking subdivisions. The lower house is set into the slope, while the upper 2 stand proud. The probable chambered cairn, a tumbled mass of large boulders showing hints of a chamber and E-facing facade, is set higher still on the slope, but not quite on its crest.

The area to be scheduled consists of that scheduled in 1993 plus an extension of similar size to the N. It is bounded on the E by the high water mark of ordinary spring tides, and elsewhere by an irregular line not defined by any features on the ground. The area measures a maximum of 450m NNE-SSW by 250m transversely, as indicated in red on the accompanying map extract.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance as a well-preserved example of a prehistoric farming settlement, preserving evidence for domestic and agricultural activity and having the potential, through excavation, to provide more evidence relating to the date and sequence of construction and use of the different elements of the settlement, about domestic and agricultural economy and social organisation in the third and second millennia BC.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS records the monument as HU 34 NE 10.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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