Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Watquey, house and associated structures to east of, Unst

A Scheduled Monument in North Isles, Shetland Islands

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Latitude: 60.7903 / 60°47'25"N

Longitude: -0.8623 / 0°51'44"W

OS Eastings: 462038

OS Northings: 1212465

OS Grid: HP620124

Mapcode National: GBR S066.ZDP

Mapcode Global: XHF75.61KT

Entry Name: Watquey, house and associated structures to E of, Unst

Scheduled Date: 5 August 1998

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM7661

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Secular: house

Location: Unst

County: Shetland Islands

Electoral Ward: North Isles

Traditional County: Shetland


The monument comprises the remains of a rectangular house of probable Norse-Medieval date and a nearby outbuilding, together with an area of ground around these structures.

The house footings are located in a gently-sloping area ESE of the abandoned croft of Watquey. The house appears as substantial turf-covered wall footings, and measures approximately 17m by 4m internally. It is aligned approximately N-S, with opposed entrances in the slightly curved long walls towards the S (up-slope) end, and an internal subdivision just S of the entrances. On the E side is an addition, or subsidiary building, some 14m by 3m internally. About 20m away, to the NNE, is a turf-covered foundation about 6m across, with traces of old field walls to the NW.

The area to be scheduled is a quadrilateral, bounded on the W and S by a recent fence (which is not included). It measures 50m NNE-SSW by 35m WNW-ESE, to include the house and addition, the outbuilding and an area around in which traces of field walls and other remains 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 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 61 SW 38.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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