Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Belmont, Norse house and field system ESE of, Unst

A Scheduled Monument in North Isles, Shetland Islands

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Latitude: 60.6855 / 60°41'7"N

Longitude: -0.9612 / 0°57'40"W

OS Eastings: 456839

OS Northings: 1200707

OS Grid: HP568007

Mapcode National: GBR R0ZH.G69

Mapcode Global: XHF7H.XP95

Entry Name: Belmont, Norse house and field system ESE of, Unst

Scheduled Date: 2 March 1998

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM7656

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Secular: house

Location: Unst

County: Shetland Islands

Electoral Ward: North Isles

Traditional County: Shetland


The monument comprises the partially-excavated remains of a house of early Norse-Medieval date and associated structures.

The house is of typical rectangular form with slightly bowed side walls. It measures internally some 21m by between 4m and 5m, making it one of the larger examples of its class. The alignment is approximately NW-SE, and up and down the slope, although it is built on a small plateau which is almost flat. There is a second rectangular foundation, some 11m by 6m, to the NW, and there are traces of field walls which appear to be contemporary with the main house.

The site was partly excavated in 1995 by the Viking Unst project, under the direction of S Stumann-Hansen and A C Larssen.

The area to be scheduled is a square of side 50m centred on the house, to include it and the area around in which other structures and field walls survive, as marked in red on the accompanying map extract.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance as a rare occurrence of a house of probable early Norse date identifiable on field characteristics, and one which has been partially excavated to demonstrate its date. It gains additional importance as a member of a group of several such sites on the island of Unst.

The important evidence regarding Norse settlement and agricultural economy which this monument can provide could be further expanded by comparative study of the related monuments in the island, several of which are being scheduled at this time. Although partially excavated, important deposits survive which would repay further investigation.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland




Stummann-Hansen, S. (1994) Report No. 9. Wadbister (Belmont-South).

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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