Ancient Monuments

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Black Water,settlement and field system,Esha Ness

A Scheduled Monument in Shetland North, Shetland Islands

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Latitude: 60.4914 / 60°29'29"N

Longitude: -1.5868 / 1°35'12"W

OS Eastings: 422802

OS Northings: 1178709

OS Grid: HU228787

Mapcode National: GBR Q1F0.HMV

Mapcode Global: XHD1G.QKJG

Entry Name: Black Water,settlement and field system,Esha Ness

Scheduled Date: 26 July 1994

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM6061

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric domestic and defensive: settlement

Location: Northmaven

County: Shetland Islands

Electoral Ward: Shetland North

Traditional County: Shetland


The monument consists of the remains of a prehistoric house with ancillary structures and an associated field system.

The house lies close to the public road, SE of the S end of Black Water. It is represented by an oval of large boulders, some 13m by 9m overall. Both outer and inner wallfaces can be traced, suggesting a wall thickness of up to 2m. The entrance appears to have been from the SE. Some 30m to the W is a small oval foundation, and traces of a similar foundation lie 25m to the NE. These may have been

contemporary outbuildings.

To the N and W of the house, and running around both the E and the W sides of Black Water, is an extensive series of fragmentary low walls, partly buried in shallow peat. A particular feature is a large irregular enclosure on the E side of Black Water. These remains probably represent a contemporary agricultural field system.

The area to be scheduled is irregular on plan, bounded on the SE by the public road and on the W by Muckla Water and the Houb Burn. It has maximum dimensions of 340m NNW-SSE by 300m, to include the house, ancillary foundations and the field system. Note that the floor of the shallow loch, Black Water, is included. The area is marked in red on the accompanying map.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance as a compact and relatively well-preserved fragment of prehistoric farming landscape, complete with farmstead. It is partly peat-buried, and offers considerable potential for study of the layout and development of prehistoric agricultural holdings. The house and ancillary structures may also contain archaeological deposits which could provide information about contemporary domestic architecture and economy.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS records the monument as HU 27 NW 9.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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