Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Loch of Girlsta,homestead 500m north east of Bretto

A Scheduled Monument in Shetland West, Shetland Islands

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Latitude: 60.26 / 60°15'35"N

Longitude: -1.2214 / 1°13'17"W

OS Eastings: 443187

OS Northings: 1153115

OS Grid: HU431531

Mapcode National: GBR R1BM.90R

Mapcode Global: XHD2S.HCTW

Entry Name: Loch of Girlsta,homestead 500m NE of Bretto

Scheduled Date: 6 August 1993

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM5728

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric domestic and defensive: homestead

Location: Tingwall

County: Shetland Islands

Electoral Ward: Shetland West

Traditional County: Shetland


The monument consists of a prehistoric house and field system on an E-facing slope above the Loch of Girlsta.

The house is represented by an oval hollow some 13m by 11m, and appears to be subdivided internally, giving the impression of a smaller house with an outer "forecourt", but this may be due to selective stone-robbing. To the E of the house, beyond its entrance (which is on this side), are two fields enclosed by boulder walls.

These fields are joined by a gateway or entrance 1.0m wide. The more easterly, and larger, of the fields runs down to the loch, which forms its E boundary. The area to be scheduled is a quadrilateral, bounded on the E by the shore of the loch and on the W by the fence beside the public road. The fence is itself excluded from scheduling. The area has maximum dimensions 70m E-W by 50m N-S, as shown in red on the accompanying map.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance as a good field example of a small prehistoric farming settlement. It has the potential, through excavation and analysis, to provide information on prehistoric agriculture, economy and social organisation.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS records the monument as HU 45 SW 3.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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