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Gunnista, St Ola's Church And Burial-ground

Burial Enclosure (Period Unassigned), Burial Ground (Period Unassigned), Church (Period Unassigned), Mausoleum (Period Unassigned), Midden (Period Unassigned), Structure(S) (Period Unassigned)

Site Name Gunnista, St Ola's Church And Burial-ground

Classification Burial Enclosure (Period Unassigned), Burial Ground (Period Unassigned), Church (Period Unassigned), Mausoleum (Period Unassigned), Midden (Period Unassigned), Structure(S) (Period Unassigned)

Canmore ID 1276

Site Number HU54SW 1

NGR HU 50138 43693

Datum OSGB36 - NGR

Permalink http://canmore.org.uk/site/1276

Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

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

Archaeology Notes

HU54SW 1 50138 43693

(HU 5013 4369) St. Ola's Church (NR) (In Ruins)

OS 6" map, Shetland, 2nd ed., (1902).

Mentioned as apparently still in use at the beginning of the 18th century.

R Sibbald 1711.

'The most ancient burying ground in Bressay appears to have been at Gunista, where there is a small fragment of a church which seems to have had vaults below it, or, according to tradition, a prison attached to it.' On the site of this church was built a spacious tomb, the walls of which remains (ie in 1841)

New Statistical Account (NSA) 1845.

'Only the foundations of the church remain, but in the churchyard there are traces of other structures of indeterminate character and period. A fireplace and a built well have both been uncovered in the NW corner of the enclosure, while along the N boundary wall, where the ground has been stripped of turf, there is a layer of kitchen midden refuse. Several relics, such as hammer-stones and a small steatite vessel, have been picked up here from time to time.'

RCAHMS 1946. Visited 10th July 1930.

Vague traces of part of one wall of this church can be seen, but its overall shape cannot be defined. A roofless mausoleum of uncertain age, described by RCAHMS, now occupies the site of the church. No trace of the wall or the fireplace in the NW corner of the enclosure, or the kitchen midden along the N wall could be seen, and no further finds have been made recently. The hammer stones and steatite vessel could not be traced in Lerwick Town Hall Museum. See GP: AO/64/202/1 for mausoleum.

Visited by OS (NKB) 7th September 1964.

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