Ancient Monuments

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Troswick, house 485m SSE of

A Scheduled Monument in Shetland South, Shetland Islands

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Latitude: 59.9304 / 59°55'49"N

Longitude: -1.2702 / 1°16'12"W

OS Eastings: 440890

OS Northings: 1116381

OS Grid: HU408163

Mapcode National: GBR R26H.BN6

Mapcode Global: XHD49.VNYK

Entry Name: Troswick, house 485m SSE of

Scheduled Date: 13 August 1975

Last Amended: 7 June 2012

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM3724

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric domestic and defensive: house

Location: Dunrossness

County: Shetland Islands

Electoral Ward: Shetland South

Traditional County: Shetland


The monument is a prehistoric house, probably in use sometime during the period 3000 BC to AD 500. The house is visible as an upstanding feature represented by large slabs and stones and turf-covered walls. The monument lies about 10m above sea level, on a cliff edge. The monument was originally scheduled in 1975 but the documentation does not meet modern standards: this rescheduling resolves this by clarifying the extent of the scheduled area.

The house is oval in shape and measures 6m by 7m internally and 11m long externally, with turf-covered walls ranging from 0.5m to 2m wide. There is an entrance on the east and the remains of an apparent porch 1.5m long.

The area to be scheduled is circular on plan, 20m in diameter, to include the remains described above and an area around them within which evidence relating to the monument's construction, use and abandonment may survive, as shown in red on the accompanying map.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

Cultural Significance

The monument's cultural significance can be expressed as follows:

Intrinsic characteristics

This monument survives in reasonably good condition in acidic grassland. The house is likely to contain the remains of foundations, floor surfaces and associated pits and middens and has the potential to provide insight into how prehistoric houses were designed and constructed. The buried remains may include artefacts and ecofacts that can help us understand how people lived at this site, how they farmed and used the natural environment, and how they exchanged goods with other groups. Future researchers may be able to date the buried remains, determine any development sequence and ascertain whether occupation of the site was interrupted by one or more periods of disuse.

Contextual characteristics

This monument lies within a landscape that is rich in archaeological remains and can enhance our understanding of the wider prehistoric archaeological landscape. A similar house lies 20m to the SW and an impressive standing stone lies 260m to the NNE. Lines of stone forming field boundaries in the vicinity may be associated. The site's location right on the coast adds particular interest, since prehistoric houses in Shetland usually lie further inland.

National Importance

This monument is of national importance because it has an inherent potential to make a significant addition to our understanding of the past, in particular of prehistoric settlement and land use. This house has the potential to improve our understanding of the distribution of prehistoric settlement, the structural techniques used to build houses and changes in settlement over time. The loss of the monument would significantly diminish our future ability to appreciate and understand the nature of prehistoric settlement and society in Shetland.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS records the site as Geo of Southdale, house, HU41NW14, Canmore ID 904. The Shetland Amenity Trust SMR records the site as Geo of Southdale, MSN4453 (PrefRef4434).

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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