Ancient Monuments

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Housa Voe,stone ring 200m west of Skurdins,Papa Stour

A Scheduled Monument in Shetland West, Shetland Islands

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Latitude: 60.3266 / 60°19'35"N

Longitude: -1.6754 / 1°40'31"W

OS Eastings: 418024

OS Northings: 1160326

OS Grid: HU180603

Mapcode National: GBR Q16F.YWP

Mapcode Global: XHBVG.KPMT

Entry Name: Housa Voe,stone ring 200m W of Skurdins,Papa Stour

Scheduled Date: 6 November 1995

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM6242

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Secular: enclosure

Location: Walls and Sandness

County: Shetland Islands

Electoral Ward: Shetland West

Traditional County: Shetland


The monument consists of an open ring of boulders, locally believed to be a meeting-place of Norse date.

The ring is a horseshoe-shaped setting of close-spaced rounded boulders set upright. It is open to the E and is not clearly visible to the S, although this may be the result of burial by sand, as stones have been detected below the turf here. About 45 boulders are visible, plus a group of 4 set just within the W arc. A low grassy bank has built up around the stones, particularly on the W side. The ring measures about 35m N-S by the same E-W.

The site is not obviously a stock enclosure or a field. Its survival in the middle of damp but fertile farmland and the associated traditions, including one recorded by Low (1773) of a duel fought between two men, one called "Lord Terwill" (? Torcuil), may tend to support its popular interpretation as a "doom-ring", a place for local gatherings of a consultative and judicial nature during the Norse-medieval period.

The area to be scheduled is circular, 60m across, centred on the centre of the ring. This includes the ring, its interior and an area around it in which associated remains may survive. This area is marked in red on the accompanying map.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance as a site of unproven nature with strong local traditions that it is a local thing-stead or gathering place of Norse date. Such sites are known of from saga literature but are seldom precisely located. The monument could produce dating evidence through excavation and analysis, and this could also examine its nature and identify any associated structures and deposits.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS records the monument as HU16SE 14.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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