Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

This site is entirely user-supported. See how you can help.

Hill of Cruester, standing stone 570m north east of Hiltoun

A Scheduled Monument in Lerwick North, Shetland Islands

We don't have any photos of this monument yet. Why don't you be the first to send us one?

Upload Photo »

Approximate Location Map
Large Map »

If Google Street View is available, the image is from the best available vantage point looking, if possible, towards the location of the monument. Where it is not available, the satellite view is shown instead.


Latitude: 60.1671 / 60°10'1"N

Longitude: -1.1189 / 1°7'8"W

OS Eastings: 448996

OS Northings: 1142838

OS Grid: HU489428

Mapcode National: GBR R1LV.V8L

Mapcode Global: XHF9Y.VQB4

Entry Name: Hill of Cruester, standing stone 570m NE of Hiltoun

Scheduled Date: 28 December 1953

Last Amended: 31 October 2012

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM2034

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric ritual and funerary: standing stone

Location: Bressay

County: Shetland Islands

Electoral Ward: Lerwick North

Traditional County: Shetland


The monument is a prehistoric standing stone, likely to date to the third or second millennium BC. Formed of sandstone, it is 2.8m high, 0.2m thick and 1.3m wide at the base. It stands at around 40m above sea level in a very prominent hill-top location. Its site offers long views in almost all directions, particularly SW over the Bressay Sound and down the E coast of Mainland. Likewise, the stone is highly visible and prominent when viewed from below. The monument was first scheduled in 1953 but the documentation does not meet modern standards; the present rescheduling rectifies this.

The area to be scheduled is circular on plan, measuring 20m in diameter, centred on the centre of the monument. The scheduling includes 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

The monument is a fine example of a prehistoric standing stone and survives in excellent condition. On plan its major axis lies WNW-ESE, but the stone has a very decided tilt to the SSW. There are traces of packing around the base. A smaller, earth-fast recumbent stone, 0.9m long by 0.4m wide by 0.5m high, lies within 1m of the standing stone. We know of no evidence that the stone has been moved and it is therefore likely to be standing within its original socket, probably a shallow depression or pit. In addition to the visible packing stones, other archaeological deposits may lie around or at the base of the stone, including burials, stone settings, pits or post-holes. It is clear that in some instances, single standing stones represent the only surviving component of a larger monument originally, such as a stone alignment. The potential presence of associated artefacts and/or important environmental information preserved beneath the stone, or in surrounding pits or other features, reinforces the potential of the monument.

In this case, considerable effort would have been required to transport, position and erect the stone, demonstrating that it was considered a significant and worthwhile endeavour to the people who erected it. Where it has been possible to date comparable monuments, they typically derive from the third or second millennium BC. The monument therefore has an inherent capacity to inform our understanding of this period, and may have the potential to further our knowledge of contemporary ceremonial and ritual landscapes.

Contextual characteristics

The monument's location dominates Bressay and the east coast of Mainland and the stone would have been visible from land and sea. In Scotland as a whole, standing stones are very often located with reference to ritual or burial monuments, such as henges, stone circles, cairns and other types of burial, and there are grounds to believe that many are part of ceremonial or ritual activity. In addition, the position of standing stones often appears deliberately chosen to take advantage of routeways, views and inter-visibility with other monuments, and some are likely to be part of a network of landmarks. It has been argued that the position of some standing stones with reference to other contemporary monuments often coincides with observation lines upon the rise or setting points of the sun or the moon on a distant horizon at key dates in the year (for example, at winter solstice).

Although standing stones are a widespread class of monument in Scotland, there is a concentration of fine examples in Shetland, giving this stone particular interest. Further study of the prehistoric monuments here may increase our understanding of the nature of their inter-relationships and of the way in which contemporary society may have used different parts of the landscape.

There are burnt mounds 1 km to the SW and 1.25 km to the N of this standing stone and the remains of a possible prehistoric house 1km to the NW.

Associative characteristics

The Ordnance Survey 1st edition map depicts the standing stone.

National Importance

This monument is of national importance because it has an inherent potential to make a significant addition to the understanding of the past, in particular the ritual and ceremonial landscape of Shetland in the third or second millennium BC. This standing stone is also important because it lies in a landscape that contains a relatively high density of other types of prehistoric monument. The loss of this monument would significantly impede our ability to understand the nature of earlier prehistoric ritual and ceremonial practice, both in Shetland and Scotland.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland


No Bibliography entries for this designation

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Other nearby scheduled monuments is an independent online resource and is not associated with any government department. All government data published here is used under licence. Please do not contact for any queries related to any individual ancient or schedued monument, planning permission related to scheduled monuments or the scheduling process itself. is a Good Stuff website.