Ancient Monuments

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Vidlin, broch at west end of Ayre of Vidlin

A Scheduled Monument in Shetland North, Shetland Islands

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Latitude: 60.3702 / 60°22'12"N

Longitude: -1.1324 / 1°7'56"W

OS Eastings: 447952

OS Northings: 1165456

OS Grid: HU479654

Mapcode National: GBR R1KB.7RQ

Mapcode Global: XHF8Z.NLXW

Entry Name: Vidlin, broch at W end of Ayre of Vidlin

Scheduled Date: 10 October 1994

Last Amended: 22 March 2005

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM6073

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric domestic and defensive: broch

Location: Nesting

County: Shetland Islands

Electoral Ward: Shetland North

Traditional County: Shetland


The monument consists of the remains of a broch, an Iron Age fortified dwelling. The monument was first scheduled in 1994. However, access works associated with the construction of a nearby marina considerably changed the surrounding land form shortly after it was scheduled. This rescheduling seeks to clarify the scheduled area in light of these alterations.

The broch is represented by an irregular mound, some 3m high. It has plainly been quarried into in the past, notably for the Methodist chapel, built in 1829, which stands on its NW side. No details of the dimensions or construction of the broch are visible at present, but there are reliable accounts of a broch-like structure being partly revealed at various dates. The surviving mound represents the remains of this activity, and almost certainly overlies the foundation levels of the broch. It is situated on a small promontory at the W end of the Ayre of Vidlin, projecting into Vidlin Voe. Its coastal location is now slightly at a remove due to the construction of the marina and its associated works.

The area proposed for scheduling comprises the remains described and an area around them within which related material may be expected to be found. It is irregular in shape and bounded on the W by the outer face of the church and the boundary of its access track. On the N, NE, E and SE it is bounded by the access track and car park for the nearby marina. The road, carpark and lay-bys are all excluded from the scheduled area. It has maximum dimensions of 41m NNE-SSW by 24m transversely, as marked in red on the accompanying map.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance as a large broch mound, the remains of an Iron Age settlement type, a type characteristic of the Northern Isles. It has the potential to contribute to an understanding of prehistoric defended settlements and economy. Its importance is increased by its proximity to other monuments of potentially contemporary date.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



The monument is recorded by NMRS as HU46NE 3.


Name Book (Shetland) Original Name Books of the Ordnance Survey Book No.6, 99,

RCAHMS 1946, The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland. Twelfth report with an inventory of the ancient monuments of Orkney and Shetland, 3v, Edinburgh, 82,No.1306.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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