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Broch (Iron Age), Carved Stone (Period Unassigned)

Site Name Islesburgh

Classification Broch (Iron Age), Carved Stone (Period Unassigned)

Canmore ID 786

Site Number HU36NW 10

NGR HU 3365 6918

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

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

Early Medieval Carved Stones Project

Islesburgh, Shetland, carved boulder

Measurements: H 1.08m, W 1.34m

Stone type: sandstone

Place of discovery: HU 3365 6918

Present location: Shetland Museum, Lerwick (ARC 1992.716)

Evidence for discovery: found by L G Scott in the 1950s on the site of a possible broch.

Present condition: worn.


The very informal and lightly pecked carving on this boulder resembles a bird in flight, perhaps either taking off or coming in to land as its leg is extended.

Date: early medieval or later.

References: Scott 1957; Scott & Ritchie 2009, no 131.

Compiled by A Ritchie 2016

Archaeology Notes

HU36NW 10 3365 6918.

( HU 3366 6923 ) Site of Brough (O.E.)

Human remains found AD 1849. The site of a broch, heavily robbed to build the neighbouring farmhouse in 1849, when human remains were found.

Name Book 1878.

No stonework is now visible, but the outline can be traced on the turf, and has an over-all diameter of 58'.

RCAHMS 1946. Visited 1930.

L.G. Scott of Lerwick found a stone, incised with an apparently Pictish figure of a bird in flight, on the site.

C S T Calder 1956.

There are no traces of this broch visible on the ground. The incised stone is now in Lerwick Museum, and is not a Pictish symbol stone as such, but similar to HU30NE 3, a piece of sandstone inscribed with a bird, probably Viking.

Visited by OS(WDJ) 27th May 1968.


Publication Account (2002)



Possible broch in Northmavine, now completely destroyed by robbing in 1849 to build the adjacent farmhouse [1].

Sources: 1. OS card HU 36 NW 10 2. RCAHMS 1946, vol. 3, no. 1354, 91.

E W MacKie 2002


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