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Unst, Flubersgerdie

Broch (Iron Age)(Possible), House Platform(S) (Period Unassigned), Planticrub (Period Unassigned), Promontory Fort (Period Unassigned)

Site Name Unst, Flubersgerdie

Classification Broch (Iron Age)(Possible), House Platform(S) (Period Unassigned), Planticrub (Period Unassigned), Promontory Fort (Period Unassigned)

Alternative Name(s) Taing Of Brough

Canmore ID 84

Site Number HP51SE 1

NGR HP 57119 12493

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

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

Archaeology Notes

HP51SE 1 571 125

(HP 5709 1248) Brough (NR).

OS 6" map, Shetland, 2nd ed., (1900)

The supposed site of a broch.

OS Name Book 1878.

There is now no structural evidence of a broch at the site, which is entirely suitable for a stronghold. The creeks on either side are called the North and South Geo of the Brough. A "plantie-crub", mostly built of turf, has at one time occupied part of the promontory, but it has fallen into ruin.

RCAHMS 1946, visited 1946.

As described by RCAHMS.

Visited by OS (A A), 26 April 1969.

HP 633 049. A probable promontory fort lies about two- thirds of the way up the steep rocky slope on to the promontory between the North and South Geos of Brough, at Taing of Brough. The massive foundation courses of a strong stone wall are concealed by hummocky turf. On the promontory are traces of indefinite structures and towards the seaward end, two long rectangular buildings.

R G Lamb 1970.

The promontory fort is high and narrow between the precipitous Geos of Brough. The path approaches across a narrow saddle. About two-thirds of the way up the steep slope to the summit there are the remains of a stone wall, now at most four courses high, running across. Behind it on the summit is a very hummocky area with projecting stones. Towards the seaward end of the promontory are two oblong footings, one 4.6m by 7.6m of turf and stone, the other 3m by 8.5m of turf only. At the SW end of the first oblong is another, roughly squarem depression.

The large headland of which the Taing is an extension, the Flubersgerdie is isolated by a broad marshy depressio, on the seaward edge of which is a ruined wall built of quite exceptionally massive boulders.

R [G] Lamb 1980.

The description of a promontory fort (HP60SW 27) at HP 633 049 by Lamb in 1970 corresponds with his 1980 account of the promontory fort at Flubersgerdie.

Information from RCAHMS (PM), 7 January 2009.

R G Lamb 1970; R G Lamb 1980.


Publication Account (2002)

HP51 2 NORTH GEO OF BROUGH ('Flubersgerdie')


Possible broch on Unst; no further information.

E W MacKie 2002

Field Visit (July 2012)

The promontory fort at Geo of Brough, Flubersgerdie was visited by the NTS Regional Archaeologist. A small area of the defensive wall can still be seen, and a rectangular turf structure, aligned East-West, remains on the flat promontory. This was said (RCAHMS 1946) to be a planticrub, but its shape and orientation might suggest something older and more exotic (Harden suggests a chapel). The remains of at least 2 further oval structures (possible house platforms) can be seen on the promontory as well as the potential remains of an entrance feature/wall on its landward side.

Information from NTS (SS) April 2013

Note (26 February 2016 - 1 June 2016)

This fort occupies a precipitous promontory on the NW coast of the island of Unst, running out between two deep geos which have bitten back into the neck to leave little more than a narrow ridge linking to the cliff-line on the ESE. The defences comprise a single wall drawn across the rising ground on the seaward side of the neck, immediately behind which there has evidently been a stone structure, its walls now reduced to grass-grown mounds of rubble. The promontory is actively eroding, and its flat summit is now a maximum of 25m broad and tapers WNW to a narrow spit some 70m beyond the wall; formerly it was almost certainly much larger, and it was probably possible to descend the outcrops beyond this point virtually to sea level. Apart from the stone structure immediately to the rear of the wall, the low footings of two oval or sub-rectangular buildings can be seen towards the WNW end of the summit, where Raymond Lamb also identified a roughly square hollow in its surface (Lamb 1980, 36 fig 13, 86).

Information from An Atlas of Hillforts of Great Britain and Ireland – 01 June 2016. Atlas of Hillforts SC4170


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