Ancient Monuments

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Northbanks,settlement and burnt mound east of,Papa Stour

A Scheduled Monument in Shetland West, Shetland Islands

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Latitude: 60.3332 / 60°19'59"N

Longitude: -1.6686 / 1°40'7"W

OS Eastings: 418396

OS Northings: 1161058

OS Grid: HU183610

Mapcode National: GBR Q17F.86B

Mapcode Global: XHBVG.NJCS

Entry Name: Northbanks,settlement and burnt mound E of,Papa Stour

Scheduled Date: 6 November 1995

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM6244

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric domestic and defensive: settlement

Location: Walls and Sandness

County: Shetland Islands

Electoral Ward: Shetland West

Traditional County: Shetland


The monument consists of an area of prehistoric settlement containing the remains of three dwellings, field walls and a burnt mound. These are partly set in an area of deep man-made soils.

The remains are situated close to the shore on the N side of Housa Voe. Two oval enclosures, both of which seem to have been dwellings, are slowly being eroded. The more westerly has half vanished, and what remains is the landward part of an oval depression 12m across. In the shore section this can be seen to have been walled in dry stone. A short distance to the E is a less-eroded oval structure about 9m across. The interior is about 0.5m below the exterior. To the NNE of this is a third oval foundation, back from the shore on a slight rise. This measures 12.4m by 9m externally, with an open enclosure attached to the SSE end, outside the entrance to the house. 160m to the NW of this third house is a large mound of burnt stone set beside a seasonal loch. This measures 13m by 11.3m and stands over 1.5m high. At the inner end of its concave portion is a large earthfast boulder. Around and between the three houses and the burnt mound are traces of an extensive field system, and the shore section shows soils up to 1.2m thick which appear to be largely the product of artificial build-up and fertilising. These soils appear to thin rapidly inland.

The area to be scheduled is irregular on plan, bounded by the shore edge on the S, and measures a maximum of 230m NW-SE by 210m NE-SW, to include all three house sites, the burnt mound and an area around and between them which has traces of field walls, clearance cairns and deep manmade soils. This area is shown in red on the accompanying map.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance as a grouping of settlement remains of probable Bronze Age date associated with agricultural soils of an artificial character. The monument has considerable potential to provide information about the limits of prehistoric agricultural technology, and about domestic economy and settlement organisation.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS records the monument as HU16SE 10.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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