Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Gravlaba,settlement and standing stones

A Scheduled Monument in Shetland West, Shetland Islands

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Latitude: 60.2851 / 60°17'6"N

Longitude: -1.4132 / 1°24'47"W

OS Eastings: 432548

OS Northings: 1155800

OS Grid: HU325558

Mapcode National: GBR Q1VK.C4V

Mapcode Global: XHD2J.0R35

Entry Name: Gravlaba,settlement and standing stones

Scheduled Date: 16 August 1993

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM5731

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric domestic and defensive: house; Prehistoric ritual and funerary: standing stone

Location: Sandsting

County: Shetland Islands

Electoral Ward: Shetland West

Traditional County: Shetland


The monument consists of a prehistoric house and two standing stones (one now fallen) within a small hill-top enclosure.

The house stands at the N end of the summit of a low hill. It is oval exte rnally, about 10m by 7m, and when partially excavated in 1957 was found to have an oval interior with the outer edge divided into six cells or chambers. The entrance is from the NNE, the open aspect in terms of the surrounding landscape. A short distance to the SE are two large stones.

One, still erect, stands just over 2m tall, and is set in a socket packed with stones. The other, of slightly smaller dimensions, has now fallen. The pair were aligned E-W and about 4.7m apart. Traces of a drystone enclosure wall appear to enclose the hill-top on which both the stones and the house stand.

The area to be scheduled is approximately oval, 115m NW-SE by 80m NE- SW, to include the house, standing stones and the area around them, in which traces of activities associated with their construction and use may survive, as shown in red on the accompanying map.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance as an unusual grouping of a domestic with a ritual prehistoric element, and in particular because of the unusually exposed location of the dwelling, which is one of a very small group of hill-top houses with slight enclosures only recently noted in West Mainland Shetland. The monument has the potential to provide information about the extreme limits of marginal agriculture in prehistoric Shetland, and about the relationships between the prosaic and the more esoteric aspects of prehistoric architecture.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS records the monument as HU 35 NW 1 and 3.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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