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Chambered Cairn (Neolithic)

Site Name Vementry

Classification Chambered Cairn (Neolithic)

Alternative Name(s) Muckle Ward

Canmore ID 458

Site Number HU26SE 1

NGR HU 2956 6096

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. 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

HU26SE 1 2956 6096.

(HU 2955 6094) Watch Tower (OE)

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

A heel-shaped, chambered cairn consisting of a platform, heel-shaped in plan and measuring 33' from back to front, within which rises a circular cairn, 26' in diameter and now existing to a height of 5' to 6'. A well preserved and impressive facade 36' across forms the SSE side of the platform. The entrance is from behind the centre of the facade which shows no break.

A S Henshall 1963, (ZET 45).

As described and planned by Henshall.

Visited by OS(WDJ) 10 June 1968


Publication Account (1997)

Its remote situation has ensured that this tomb survives in excellent condition; it was built on the top of Muckle Ward at 90m OD, and the stiff climb to reach it is rewarded in clear weather by superb view over a beautiful area of Shetland. This is a heelshaped cairn with a smoothly curving facade of excellent dry stone walling, including very large stones at the base, which survives to a height of 1.2m. There is no entrance through the facade, and this outer part of the cairn appears to have been built as a platform round a circular, originally domed cairn enclosing the burial chamber. A passage aligned on the centre of the facade leads into a roughly trefoil-shaped chamber, now unroofed and ruinous, although its walling is visible.

The island is also remarkable for the First World War gun emplacements on Swarbacks Head (no. 1). At Vementry farm on the mainland there is a well preserved horizontal mill (HU 311597) .

Information from ‘Exploring Scotland’s Heritage: Shetland’, (1997).


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