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Historic Scotland heads to Shetland

20 April 2011

A team from Historic Scotland will be in Shetland throughout May to consider which archaeological sites are nationally important and should be protected. This involves assessing sites for possible designation as ‘scheduled monuments’, which means they would be protected by law.

The team will spend four weeks in Shetland undertaking the fieldwork and meeting with land owners and managers. They will be looking at around 70 sites in Mainland and Unst which might be scheduled for the first time, and they will also be visiting over 100 sites and monuments which are already scheduled to check that the boundaries are appropriate, the protected areas are accurate and the maps and documentation are up-to-date. There are currently 365 scheduled monuments in Shetland, ranging from prehistoric cairns, settlements and brochs through to Second World War defences.

Olwyn Owen, Historic Scotland’s Head of Scheduling and Marine, said: “Shetland has a unique and fascinating heritage. The landscape is extraordinarily rich in history and archaeology, and we want to make sure that the most important sites and monuments are preserved for future generations to enjoy. When deciding what to schedule, we take account of a wide range of criteria including archaeological, artistic, traditional, historic, aesthetic, scientific and social factors.

“We are very much looking forward to coming to Shetland. We will be giving two public talks during our stay, one in Lerwick and the other in Unst, so that people can meet the Scheduling and Marine Team and find out more about what we’re doing. Everyone is most welcome to attend. We will also be working with the Shetland Amenity Trust and talking to local groups about their work.”  

The talks, entitled  ‘A Career in Ruins: The Work of Historic Scotland’s Scheduling and Marine team in Shetland’, are taking place on Tuesday 3rd May at 7:30pm at the Shetland Museum and Archives Auditorium, Hay’s Dock in Lerwick; and on Thursday 26th May at 7:30pm in Unst Heritage Centre.

Notes for editors

  • 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


Jennifer Johnston-Watt
Communications and Media Officer
Communications and Media
0131 668 8070 or 07827 956 866
jennifer.johnstonwatt@scotland.gsi.gov.uk