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First step in reviewing Shetland's protected monuments

22 July 2008

Historic Scotland staff are visiting Shetland in the first step to reviewing protected monuments on the Islands.

During their visit the Scheduling Team will go to various archaeological sites and monuments to gather information and ideas in preparation for a future three-year project that will review and update what is scheduled in the area.

Dr Sally Foster, head of the team, said: “Shetland is renowned for its history and archaeology, with over 360 monuments already legally recognised as of national importance.

“There is an incredible heritage here and reviewing the protection of monuments that span from early prehistory through to the Second World War will be a huge job, which is why we are here to speak to local experts to help us identify in advance what the key opportunities and challenges will be, so that we can plan for these.”  

Scheduling provides legal protection to monuments of national importance. Historic Scotland assess monuments against a criteria set out by Scottish Ministers, taking into account the artistic, archaeological, architectural, historic, traditional, aesthetic, scientific and social factors that contribute to the cultural significance of the site.

There are more than 260,000 archaeological sites and monuments, architectural objects and marine sites recorded in Scotland, with around 8,000 scheduled. Shetland currently has more than 360 scheduled monuments.

Notes for editors

  • The Ancients Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 gives Scottish Ministers the powers to compile and maintain a Schedule of monuments of national importance. Historic Scotland recommends monuments for scheduling, actively encourages positive management of scheduled monuments and controls work to them through the legal consent process.

  • Not all nationally important archaeological sites and monuments are eligible for scheduling. For instance, we can not schedule portable objects, churches in use, occupied houses and wrecks that are already protected under the Protection of Wrecks Act 1973.

  • Historic Scotland is an executive agency of the Scottish Government charged with safeguarding the nation’s historic environment. The agency is fully accountable to Scottish Ministers and through them to the Scottish Parliament.

For further information

Lesley Brown
Communications and Media Officer
Communications and Media
0131 668 8603 or 07788 923873