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Infield, broch 215m south east of

A Scheduled Monument in Shetland North, Shetland Islands

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Coordinates

Latitude: 60.4538 / 60°27'13"N

Longitude: -1.1771 / 1°10'37"W

OS Eastings: 445370

OS Northings: 1174725

OS Grid: HU453747

Mapcode National: GBR R1F3.K9B

Mapcode Global: XHF8L.2HWV

Entry Name: Infield, broch 215m SE of

Scheduled Date: 31 May 1934

Last Amended: 7 June 2012

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM2058

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric domestic and defensive: broch

Location: Delting

County: Shetland Islands

Electoral Ward: Shetland North

Traditional County: Shetland

Description

The monument comprises a broch of Iron Age date, built probably between 500 BC and AD 200, as well as the remains of a later storehouse and an operational lighthouse dating to 1909. The broch is visible as a small-mounded promontory which has been largely sealed by concrete capping, forming a pad for the lighthouse and a sea defence barrier. The masonry structure of the broch is partly visible in exposed sections. The broch and its associated remains cover an area approximately 20m in diameter. It lies above the high water mark, on a rocky promontory overlooking Firths Voe with views northeast towards Yell. The monument was first scheduled in 1934 but the documentation does not meet modern standards; the present rescheduling rectifies this.

The area to be scheduled is irregular on plan, 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. The seaward limit of the scheduled area is defined by the mean high water spring mark. The scheduled area specifically excludes the above-ground remains of: the storehouse, all concrete ground works, the lighthouse, modern services and modern boundary features, to allow for their maintenance.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

Cultural Significance

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

Intrinsic characteristics

The broch survives as a low-mounded earthwork and masonry structure which has been partly sealed by later concrete works. There is no further evidence of significant intrusion and so much of the structural ground plan and lower courses, as well as occupation evidence, are likely to survive beneath the modern surface. Areas of masonry are exposed on the north and south arcs, indicating the structural integrity beneath. On the south arc the exposure reveals a lintelled entrance to a mural cell. In addition, previous fieldworkers have found pottery sherds at the east side of the broch. Taken together, these remains indicate high potential for the survival of artefacts, ecofacts and structural remains. The land immediately surrounding the broch may contain significant structural remains of associated outer buildings and agricultural land use, which can help us piece together the wider picture of settlement here, and the social, economic and environmental circumstances surrounding the broch's construction, use and abandonment.

Contextual characteristics

This broch is one of over 130 known in Shetland. Brochs are a particularly distinctive type of Iron Age roundhouse structure and are likely to have served a variety of functions. While a domestic and agricultural function has been inferred from the evidence of excavated brochs elsewhere, researchers have also considered the symbolic and strategic significance of these buildings, their outworks and their position in the surrounding landscape. This example occupies a sentinel position along the northeast coast of the Shetland mainland and, like the majority of examples in the Northern Isles, it seems equally able to exploit landward and seaward resources, while acting as a visible waypoint or prestigious coastal mark. It therefore has the ability to tell us much more about broch architecture, the function and relative status of these structures and the wider division and exploitation of natural resources.

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 the Iron Age occupation of Shetland and the role and function of brochs. The survival or structural and artefactual material from the various phases of the broch's development can help us understand more about the lifestyles of the people occupying this type of monument and something of their pattern of activities. Its loss would significantly diminish our future ability to appreciate and understand this class of monument and the wider Iron Age landscape of Scotland.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Sources

Bibliography

RCAHMS record the site as HU47SE 1

References

Mackie, E W 2002, The roundhouses, brochs and wheelhouses of Atlantic Scotland c.700BC-AD500: architecture and material culture, Part 1: The Orkney and Shetland Isles. BAR British Series 342: Oxford. 116.

RCAHMS, 1946, The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland. Twelfth report with an inventory of the ancient monuments of Orkney and Shetland, 3v Edinburgh. 9.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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