West Burra Firth


Site Name West Burra Firth

Classification Broch

Canmore ID 371

Site Number HU25NE 4

NGR HU 2562 5720

Datum OSGB36 - NGR

Ordnance Survey licence number 100020548. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

  • Council Shetland Islands
  • Parish Sandsting
  • Former Region Shetland Islands Area
  • Former District Shetland
  • Former County Shetland

Archaeology Notes

HU25NE 4 2562 5720

(HU 2562 5722) Brough (OE)

(HU 2570 5719) Cuml (OE)

OS 6" map, Shetland, 2nd ed., (1903).

A broch which MacKie dates to the very early 1st century AD (MacKie 1965a) and a cairn on neighbouring island which the OS connects by a causeway, no signs of which are now visible. According to Spence the broch was 'connected with the land by a bridge of large stepping-stones over which the sea flows at full tide.'(Spence 1899) The site is now inaccessible without a boat except at very low tide. Much of the ground plan of the broch can still be made out, but many details are obscured by fallen material. Although the outer face has collapsed on the N.E. and the south, it still stands eight or nine courses high elsewhere. The overall diameter is 58' and the walls average 15' in thickness. The cairn is greatly dilapidated. The RCAHMS express extreme doubt as to the connection between the broch and the cairn.


The islands are connected 'by a stone causeway erected over a series of conduits'.

Name Book 1878.

A broch as described and illustrated by the RCAHM, accessible at low water by a well-built causeway. There is no trace of a cairn on the islet some 70.0m ESE of the broch. The islet is greatly eroded down to bed rock and only a little vegetation remains on its summit. An unlikely situation for a cairn.

Broch surveyed at 1/2500.

Visited by OS (N K B), 13 June 1968.



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