Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Gue, house to south of, Baliasta, Unst

A Scheduled Monument in North Isles, Shetland Islands

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Latitude: 60.768 / 60°46'4"N

Longitude: -0.8896 / 0°53'22"W

OS Eastings: 460595

OS Northings: 1209957

OS Grid: HP605099

Mapcode National: GBR S048.YSL

Mapcode Global: XHF74.VLCY

Entry Name: Gue, house to S of, Baliasta, Unst

Scheduled Date: 2 March 1998

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM7659

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Secular: house

Location: Unst

County: Shetland Islands

Electoral Ward: North Isles

Traditional County: Shetland


The monument comprises the footings of a rectangular house of probable Viking or Norse-Medieval date, lying downslope from the present croft house at Gue.

The remains show very distinctly as grass-covered rises in grassland. The main structure is aligned N-S, running downslope. The S end is least well-preserved. The house measures some 19m long by 4m wide within walls up to 1m thick and does not have markedly bowed side walls. It appears to have been subdivided transversely and has two opposed entrances towards its upper end.

A small extension appears to have been attached on the W side. There are many old field walls nearby, especially to the E and S. These are now tumbled and largely grass-covered. They are clearly earlier than the recent drystone walls which are still partly in use as field boundaries.

This house, on current typologies, should lie relatively early in the Viking-Norse-Medieval timespan.

The area to be scheduled is rectangular, oriented NNE-SSW, and bounded on the NW by a recent drystone wall, which is excluded from scheduling. It measures 50m by 30m, to include the house, its extension, and an area around in which remains associated with their construction and use, and with contemporary agriculture, are likely to survive. The area is 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. 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.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS records the monument as HP 60 SW 24.


Stummann-Hansen, S. (1985) Report No. 20 ' Gue, Baliasta.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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