Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Heglibister,cairn 250m west of Nesta Ness

A Scheduled Monument in Shetland West, Shetland Islands

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Latitude: 60.2463 / 60°14'46"N

Longitude: -1.2997 / 1°17'59"W

OS Eastings: 438869

OS Northings: 1151546

OS Grid: HU388515

Mapcode National: GBR R14N.H3M

Mapcode Global: XHD2R.HQ1C

Entry Name: Heglibister,cairn 250m W of Nesta Ness

Scheduled Date: 21 August 1995

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM6223

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric ritual and funerary: cairn (type uncertain)

Location: Tingwall

County: Shetland Islands

Electoral Ward: Shetland West

Traditional County: Shetland


The monument consists of a large mound on top of which lie the remains of a construction of large stones, probably a cairn of late Neolithic or Bronze Age date.

The mound lies close behind houses at Heglibister, and has been known as "De Duss", meaning a heap. It is oval in plan, about 25m across and over 3m high, and is set on a small rock outcrop on an E-facing valley side. There is little superficial detail visible, only a number of facing stones protruding which suggest a basal diameter of about 15m.

Nearby finds of Iron Age midden material and the general form and location of the site have suggested to some archaeologists that the site is a broch, but it appears to be too small for this and the site is too limiting.

The area to be scheduled is a circle 30m in diameter, to include the mound and a small area around it. There is a modern wooden pole within the centre of the summit of the mound. The below-ground elements only of this are 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 ruined but possibly undisturbed cairn, which could contain significant archaeological deposits. It has the potential, through excavation and analysis, to provide important information about prehistoric ritual and funerary activities.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS records the monument as HU 35 SE 3.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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