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Weinnia Ness

Promontory Fort (Period Unassigned)(Possible)

Site Name Weinnia Ness

Classification Promontory Fort (Period Unassigned)(Possible)

Canmore ID 231

Site Number HU15SE 10

NGR HU 17197 53340

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

  • Council Shetland Islands
  • Parish Walls And Sandness
  • Former Region Shetland Islands Area
  • Former District Shetland
  • Former County Shetland


Field Visit (21 August 2008)


As described. This site sits on high cliffs, there is some minor damage to the ends of the banks, but this is due to slippage rather than to erosion, and impacts on a tiny fraction of the monument. As the cliffs are approximately 50m in height and were judged to be stable in the Coastal Zone Assessment of the area, the threat of erosion to the site is negligible.

Visited by Scotland's Coastal Heritage at Risk (SCHARP) 21 August 2008

Note (29 February 2016 - 18 May 2016)

The remains of a series of earth and stone dykes have been noted cutting across the neck of Weinnia Ness, a spectacular promontory on the W coast of Mainland. Photographed by Raymond Lamb in 1970, it is probably significant that he chose to omit the site from his synthesis of the promontory forts of the Northern Isles (1980), indicating that he believed that the various banks visible cutting across the narrow neck were not of any great antiquity. The photographs appended to the SCAPE record (; also accessible via RCAHMS Canmore), combined with satellite imagery, confirm this assessment, showing in one case an eroded section through a turf dyke. At 1.3ha, the enclosure would be unusual amongst promontory forts in the Northern Isles, and this should probably be omitted unless proven to be of antiquity by excavation.

Information from An Atlas of Hillforts of Great Britain and Ireland – 18 May 2016. Atlas of Hillforts SC4176

Field Visit

A long narrow promontory, surrounded by high vertical cliffs, is divided by a series of banks which run across its width. The scale of these barriers is more than that required merely for stock management and it is likely that this may be a defended promontory, probably of prehistoric date. There are possible structural remains situated at the seaward end of the promontory. The site is very exposed and the terminals of the banks have already been damaged by erosion. The various elements found at the site are described here, as encountered moving from the landward to the seaward end of the promontory: (i) A natural glacial gully, up to 1.5m deep, cuts across the neck of the promontory at its landward end. (ii) At a distance of 16m further west (seaward), a rectangular enclosure is defined by earthen and stone banks. This enclosure extends across the entire width of the promontory and is 7m long. The remnants of a stone structure and stone revetted bank lie within this enclosure. (iii) Further along the promontory another earthen bank, standing up to 0.6m high, extends across the width of the promontory neck. (iv) At a distance of 4m westward of (iii), an earthen bank, 2m in width, stands up to 0.4m high. There is the faint suggestion of a rectangular structure or enclosure at the west end of this bank. (v) Further seaward along the promontory are a line of boulders which extend, intermittently, across the neck of land.

Visited by Scotland's Coastal Heritage at Risk (SCHARP)


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