Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Burrashield, house to north of, Fair Isle

A Scheduled Monument in Shetland South, Shetland Islands

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Latitude: 59.539 / 59°32'20"N

Longitude: -1.6382 / 1°38'17"W

OS Eastings: 420562

OS Northings: 1072624

OS Grid: HZ205726

Mapcode National: GBR Q39J.B3S

Mapcode Global: XHD63.1HTL

Entry Name: Burrashield, house to N of, Fair Isle

Scheduled Date: 23 December 1996

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM6580

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric domestic and defensive: enclosure (domestic or defensive); Prehistoric ritual and funera

Location: Dunrossness

County: Shetland Islands

Electoral Ward: Shetland South

Traditional County: Shetland


The monument comprises a ruined house of prehistoric date with a later extension.

The structure is about 7m by 3.5m internally, elongated NE-SW. It appears to have originated as a D-shaped double-faced construction of large boulders with an entrance on the SW side, with subsequent extension to the SW resulting in a roughly rectangular form.

The area to be scheduled is circular, 40m in diameter, to include the house and an area around it in which evidence relating to its construction and use may survive, as marked in red on the accompanying map extract.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance as an example of a small prehistoric house in an unusually isolated and exposed location. It has the potential, in comparison with other houses in more congenial settings, to provide information about the wide range of settlement locations required for the varied economic strategies used during the prehistoric period.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland




Hunter, J. R. (ed.) (1985) Fair Isle survey: interim 1984, Bradford University Schools of Archaeological Sciences and Physics Occasional Papers, No. 5 Bradford. No. 272.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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