Shetland Islands
Overview
 
Shetland is a subarctic archipelago
Archipelago
An archipelago , sometimes called an island group, is a chain or cluster of islands. The word archipelago is derived from the Greek ἄρχι- – arkhi- and πέλαγος – pélagos through the Italian arcipelago...

 of Scotland
Scotland
Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Occupying the northern third of the island of Great Britain, it shares a border with England to the south and is bounded by the North Sea to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the...

 that lies north and east of mainland Great Britain
Great Britain
Great Britain or Britain is an island situated to the northwest of Continental Europe. It is the ninth largest island in the world, and the largest European island, as well as the largest of the British Isles...

. The islands lie some 80 km (49.7 mi) to the northeast of Orkney and 280 km (174 mi) southeast of the Faroe Islands
Faroe Islands
The Faroe Islands are an island group situated between the Norwegian Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, approximately halfway between Scotland and Iceland. The Faroe Islands are a self-governing territory within the Kingdom of Denmark, along with Denmark proper and Greenland...

 and form part of the division between the Atlantic Ocean
Atlantic Ocean
The Atlantic Ocean is the second-largest of the world's oceanic divisions. With a total area of about , it covers approximately 20% of the Earth's surface and about 26% of its water surface area...

 to the west and the North Sea
North Sea
In the southwest, beyond the Straits of Dover, the North Sea becomes the English Channel connecting to the Atlantic Ocean. In the east, it connects to the Baltic Sea via the Skagerrak and Kattegat, narrow straits that separate Denmark from Norway and Sweden respectively...

 to the east. The total area is 1468 km² (566.8 sq mi) and the population totalled 22,210 in 2009. Comprising the Shetland constituency
Shetland (Scottish Parliament constituency)
Shetland is a constituency of the Scottish Parliament . It elects one Member of the Scottish Parliament by the first past the post method of election...

 of the Scottish Parliament
Scottish Parliament
The Scottish Parliament is the devolved national, unicameral legislature of Scotland, located in the Holyrood area of the capital, Edinburgh. The Parliament, informally referred to as "Holyrood", is a democratically elected body comprising 129 members known as Members of the Scottish Parliament...

, Shetland is also one of the 32 council areas of Scotland; the islands' administrative centre and only burgh
Burgh
A burgh was an autonomous corporate entity in Scotland and Northern England, usually a town. This type of administrative division existed from the 12th century, when King David I created the first royal burghs. Burgh status was broadly analogous to borough status, found in the rest of the United...

 is Lerwick
Lerwick
Lerwick is the capital and main port of the Shetland Islands, Scotland, located more than 100 miles off the north coast of mainland Scotland on the east coast of the Shetland Mainland...

.

The largest island, known simply as "Mainland", has an area of 967 km² (373.4 sq mi), making it the third-largest Scottish island and the fifth-largest of the British Isles
British Isles
The British Isles are a group of islands off the northwest coast of continental Europe that include the islands of Great Britain and Ireland and over six thousand smaller isles. There are two sovereign states located on the islands: the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and...

.
Encyclopedia
Shetland is a subarctic archipelago
Archipelago
An archipelago , sometimes called an island group, is a chain or cluster of islands. The word archipelago is derived from the Greek ἄρχι- – arkhi- and πέλαγος – pélagos through the Italian arcipelago...

 of Scotland
Scotland
Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Occupying the northern third of the island of Great Britain, it shares a border with England to the south and is bounded by the North Sea to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the...

 that lies north and east of mainland Great Britain
Great Britain
Great Britain or Britain is an island situated to the northwest of Continental Europe. It is the ninth largest island in the world, and the largest European island, as well as the largest of the British Isles...

. The islands lie some 80 km (49.7 mi) to the northeast of Orkney and 280 km (174 mi) southeast of the Faroe Islands
Faroe Islands
The Faroe Islands are an island group situated between the Norwegian Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, approximately halfway between Scotland and Iceland. The Faroe Islands are a self-governing territory within the Kingdom of Denmark, along with Denmark proper and Greenland...

 and form part of the division between the Atlantic Ocean
Atlantic Ocean
The Atlantic Ocean is the second-largest of the world's oceanic divisions. With a total area of about , it covers approximately 20% of the Earth's surface and about 26% of its water surface area...

 to the west and the North Sea
North Sea
In the southwest, beyond the Straits of Dover, the North Sea becomes the English Channel connecting to the Atlantic Ocean. In the east, it connects to the Baltic Sea via the Skagerrak and Kattegat, narrow straits that separate Denmark from Norway and Sweden respectively...

 to the east. The total area is 1468 km² (566.8 sq mi) and the population totalled 22,210 in 2009. Comprising the Shetland constituency
Shetland (Scottish Parliament constituency)
Shetland is a constituency of the Scottish Parliament . It elects one Member of the Scottish Parliament by the first past the post method of election...

 of the Scottish Parliament
Scottish Parliament
The Scottish Parliament is the devolved national, unicameral legislature of Scotland, located in the Holyrood area of the capital, Edinburgh. The Parliament, informally referred to as "Holyrood", is a democratically elected body comprising 129 members known as Members of the Scottish Parliament...

, Shetland is also one of the 32 council areas of Scotland; the islands' administrative centre and only burgh
Burgh
A burgh was an autonomous corporate entity in Scotland and Northern England, usually a town. This type of administrative division existed from the 12th century, when King David I created the first royal burghs. Burgh status was broadly analogous to borough status, found in the rest of the United...

 is Lerwick
Lerwick
Lerwick is the capital and main port of the Shetland Islands, Scotland, located more than 100 miles off the north coast of mainland Scotland on the east coast of the Shetland Mainland...

.

The largest island, known simply as "Mainland", has an area of 967 km² (373.4 sq mi), making it the third-largest Scottish island and the fifth-largest of the British Isles
British Isles
The British Isles are a group of islands off the northwest coast of continental Europe that include the islands of Great Britain and Ireland and over six thousand smaller isles. There are two sovereign states located on the islands: the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and...

. There are an additional 15 inhabited islands. The archipelago has an oceanic climate
Oceanic climate
An oceanic climate, also called marine west coast climate, maritime climate, Cascadian climate and British climate for Köppen climate classification Cfb and subtropical highland for Köppen Cfb or Cwb, is a type of climate typically found along the west coasts at the middle latitudes of some of the...

, a complex geology, a rugged coastline and many low, rolling hills.

Humans have lived there since the Mesolithic
Mesolithic
The Mesolithic is an archaeological concept used to refer to certain groups of archaeological cultures defined as falling between the Paleolithic and the Neolithic....

 period, and the earliest written references to the islands date back to Roman
Ancient Rome
Ancient Rome was a thriving civilization that grew on the Italian Peninsula as early as the 8th century BC. Located along the Mediterranean Sea and centered on the city of Rome, it expanded to one of the largest empires in the ancient world....

 times. The early historic period
Early Middle Ages
The Early Middle Ages was the period of European history lasting from the 5th century to approximately 1000. The Early Middle Ages followed the decline of the Western Roman Empire and preceded the High Middle Ages...

 was dominated by Scandinavian
Scandinavians
Scandinavians are a group of Germanic peoples, inhabiting Scandinavia and to a lesser extent countries associated with Scandinavia, and speaking Scandinavian languages. The group includes Danes, Norwegians and Swedes, and additionally the descendants of Scandinavian settlers such as the Icelandic...

 influences, especially Norway
Norway
Norway , officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic unitary constitutional monarchy whose territory comprises the western portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula, Jan Mayen, and the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard and Bouvet Island. Norway has a total area of and a population of about 4.9 million...

, and the islands did not become part of Scotland until the fifteenth century. When Shetland became part of the Kingdom of Great Britain
Kingdom of Great Britain
The former Kingdom of Great Britain, sometimes described as the 'United Kingdom of Great Britain', That the Two Kingdoms of Scotland and England, shall upon the 1st May next ensuing the date hereof, and forever after, be United into One Kingdom by the Name of GREAT BRITAIN. was a sovereign...

 in 1707 trade with northern Europe decreased, although fishing has continued to be an important aspect of the economy up to the present day. Now part of the United Kingdom, the discovery of North Sea oil
North Sea oil
North Sea oil is a mixture of hydrocarbons, comprising liquid oil and natural gas, produced from oil reservoirs beneath the North Sea.In the oil industry, the term "North Sea" often includes areas such as the Norwegian Sea and the area known as "West of Shetland", "the Atlantic Frontier" or "the...

 in the 1970s significantly boosted Shetland incomes, employment and public sector revenues.

The local way of life reflects the joint Norse and Scottish heritage including the Up Helly Aa fire festival, and a strong musical tradition, especially the traditional fiddle
Fiddle
The term fiddle may refer to any bowed string musical instrument, most often the violin. It is also a colloquial term for the instrument used by players in all genres, including classical music...

 style. The islands have produced a variety of writers of prose and poetry, many of whom use the local Shetlandic
Shetlandic
Shetlandic, usually referred to as Shetland by native speakers, is spoken in the Shetland Islands north of mainland Scotland and is, like Orcadian, a dialect of Insular Scots...

 dialect. There are numerous areas set aside to protect the local fauna
Fauna
Fauna or faunæ is all of the animal life of any particular region or time. The corresponding term for plants is flora.Zoologists and paleontologists use fauna to refer to a typical collection of animals found in a specific time or place, e.g. the "Sonoran Desert fauna" or the "Burgess shale fauna"...

 and flora
Flora
Flora is the plant life occurring in a particular region or time, generally the naturally occurring or indigenous—native plant life. The corresponding term for animals is fauna.-Etymology:...

, including a number of important seabird nesting sites.

Etymology

In 43 and 77 AD the Roman authors Pomponius Mela
Pomponius Mela
Pomponius Mela, who wrote around AD 43, was the earliest Roman geographer. He was born in Tingentera and died c. AD 45.His short work occupies less than one hundred pages of ordinary print. It is laconic in style and deficient in method, but of pure Latinity, and occasionally relieved by pleasing...

 and Pliny the Elder
Pliny the Elder
Gaius Plinius Secundus , better known as Pliny the Elder, was a Roman author, naturalist, and natural philosopher, as well as naval and army commander of the early Roman Empire, and personal friend of the emperor Vespasian...

 referred to the seven islands they call Haemodae and Acmodae respectively, both of which are assumed to be Shetland. Another early written reference to the islands may have been when Tacitus
Tacitus
Publius Cornelius Tacitus was a senator and a historian of the Roman Empire. The surviving portions of his two major works—the Annals and the Histories—examine the reigns of the Roman Emperors Tiberius, Claudius, Nero and those who reigned in the Year of the Four Emperors...

 reported in AD 98 after describing the discovery and conquest of the Orkneys that the Roman fleet had seen "Thule
Thule
Thule Greek: Θούλη, Thoulē), also spelled Thula, Thila, or Thyïlea, is, in classical European literature and maps, a region in the far north. Though often considered to be an island in antiquity, modern interpretations of what was meant by Thule often identify it as Norway. Other interpretations...

, too". In early Irish literature, Shetland is referred to as Inse Catt—"the Isles of Cats", which may have been the pre-Norse inhabitants' name for the islands. The Cat tribe also occupied parts of the northern Scottish mainland and their name can be found in Caithness
Caithness
Caithness is a registration county, lieutenancy area and historic local government area of Scotland. The name was used also for the earldom of Caithness and the Caithness constituency of the Parliament of the United Kingdom . Boundaries are not identical in all contexts, but the Caithness area is...

, and in the Gaelic name for Sutherland
Sutherland
Sutherland is a registration county, lieutenancy area and historic administrative county of Scotland. It is now within the Highland local government area. In Gaelic the area is referred to according to its traditional areas: Dùthaich 'IcAoidh , Asainte , and Cataibh...

 (Cataibh, meaning "among the Cats").

The oldest version of the modern name Shetland is Hetlandensis recorded in 1190 becoming Hetland in 1431 after various intermediate transformations. It is possible that the Pictish
Picts
The Picts were a group of Late Iron Age and Early Mediaeval people living in what is now eastern and northern Scotland. There is an association with the distribution of brochs, place names beginning 'Pit-', for instance Pitlochry, and Pictish stones. They are recorded from before the Roman conquest...

 "cat" sound forms part of this Norse
Old Norse
Old Norse is a North Germanic language that was spoken by inhabitants of Scandinavia and inhabitants of their overseas settlements during the Viking Age, until about 1300....

 name. It then became Hjaltland in the 16th century.

As Norn
Norn language
Norn is an extinct North Germanic language that was spoken in Shetland and Orkney, off the north coast of mainland Scotland, and in Caithness. After the islands were pledged to Scotland by Norway in the 15th century, it was gradually replaced by Scots and on the mainland by Scottish...

 was gradually replaced by Scots, Hjaltland became Ȝetland. The initial letter is the Middle Scots
Middle Scots
Middle Scots was the Anglic language of Lowland Scotland in the period from 1450 to 1700. By the end of the 13th century its phonology, orthography, accidence, syntax and vocabulary had diverged markedly from Early Scots, which was virtually indistinguishable from early Northumbrian Middle English...

 letter, "yogh
Yogh
The letter yogh , was used in Middle English and Older Scots, representing y and various velar phonemes. It was derived from the Old English form of the letter g.In Middle English writing, tailed z came to be indistinguishable from yogh....

", the pronunciation of which is almost identical to the original Norn sound, "/hj/". When the use of the letter yogh was discontinued, it was often replaced by the similar-looking letter z
Z
Z is the twenty-sixth and final letter of the basic modern Latin alphabet.-Name and pronunciation:In most dialects of English, the letter's name is zed , reflecting its derivation from the Greek zeta but in American English, its name is zee , deriving from a late 17th century English dialectal...

, hence Zetland, the mis-spelled form used to describe the pre-1975 county council.

Most of the individual islands have Norse names, although the derivations of some are obscure and may represent pre-Norse, possibly Pictish or even pre-Celtic names or elements.

Geography and geology

Shetland is around 170 kilometres (105.6 mi) north of mainland Scotland, covers an area of 1468 square kilometre and has a coastline 2702 kilometres (1,678.9 mi) long. Lerwick
Lerwick
Lerwick is the capital and main port of the Shetland Islands, Scotland, located more than 100 miles off the north coast of mainland Scotland on the east coast of the Shetland Mainland...

, the capital and largest settlement, has a population of around 7,500 and about half of the archipelago's total population of 22,000 people live within 16 kilometres (10 mi) of the town. Scalloway
Scalloway
Scalloway is the largest settlement on the North Atlantic coast of Mainland, Shetland with a population of approximately 812, at the 2001 census...

 on the west coast, which was the capital until 1708, has a population of less than 1,000.

Out of the approximately 100 islands, only 16 are inhabited. The main island of the group is known as Mainland and of the next largest, Yell, Unst
Unst
Unst is one of the North Isles of the Shetland Islands, Scotland. It is the northernmost of the inhabited British Isles and is the third largest island in Shetland after the Mainland and Yell. It has an area of .Unst is largely grassland, with coastal cliffs...

, Fetlar
Fetlar
Fetlar is one of the North Isles of Shetland, Scotland, with a population of 86 at the time of the 2001 census. Its main settlement is Houbie on the south coast, home to the Fetlar Interpretive Centre...

 lie to the north and Bressay
Bressay
-Geography and geology:Bressay lies due south of Whalsay, west of Noss, and north of Mousa. At , it is the fifth largest island in Shetland. The population is around 400 people, concentrated in the middle of the west coast, around Glebe, Fullaburn and Maryfield....

 and Whalsay
Whalsay
-Geography:Whalsay, also known as "The Bonnie Isle", is a peat-covered island in the Shetland Islands. It is situated east of the Shetland Mainland and has an area of . The main settlement is Symbister, where the fishing fleet is based. The fleet is composed of both pelagic and demersal vessels...

 to east. East
East Burra
East Burra is one of the Scalloway Islands, a subgroup of the Shetland Islands in Scotland. It is connected by a bridge to West Burra.With an area of two square miles, it is the eleventh largest of the Shetland Islands....

 and West Burra, Muckle Roe
Muckle Roe
Muckle Roe is an island in Shetland, Scotland, in Saint Magnus Bay, to the west of Mainland, Shetland. It has a population of around 100 people, who mainly croft and live in the south east of the island...

, Papa Stour
Papa Stour
Papa Stour is one of the Shetland Islands in Scotland, with a population of under twenty people, some of whom immigrated after an appeal for residents in the 1970s. Located to the west of mainland Shetland and with an area of 828 hectares , Papa Stour is the eighth largest island in Shetland...

, Trondra
Trondra
Trondra is one of the Scalloway Islands, a subgroup of the Shetland Islands in Scotland. It shelters the harbour of Scalloway and has an area of .-History:...

 and Vaila
Vaila
Vaila is an island in Shetland, Scotland, lying south of the Westland peninsula of the Shetland Mainland. It has an area of , and is at its highest point.Vaila is home to an organic sheep farm and is also known for its mountain hares....

 are smaller islands to the west of Mainland. The other inhabited islands are Foula
Foula
Foula in the Shetland Islands of Scotland is one of Great Britain’s most remote permanently inhabited islands. Owned since the turn of the 20th century by the Holbourn family, the island was the location for the film The Edge of the World...

 28 kilometres (17.4 mi) west of Walls, Fair Isle
Fair Isle
Fair Isle is an island in northern Scotland, lying around halfway between mainland Shetland and the Orkney islands. It is famous for its bird observatory and a traditional style of knitting.-Geography:...

 38 kilometres (23.6 mi) south-west of Sumburgh Head
Sumburgh Head
Sumburgh Head is located at the southern tip of the Shetland Mainland in northernScotland. The head is a 100 m high rocky spur capped by the Sumburgh Head Lighthouse. The Old Norse name was Dunrøstar høfdi, it means "The Head onto the Thunderous Noise", referring to the noise of Sumburgh Roost...

, and the Out Skerries to the east.

The uninhabited islands include Mousa
Mousa
Mousa is a small island in Shetland, Scotland, uninhabited since the nineteenth century. The island is known for the Broch of Mousa, an Iron Age round tower, and is designated as a Special Protection Area for storm-petrel breeding colonies.-Geography:...

, known for the Broch of Mousa, the finest preserved example in Scotland of these Iron Age
Iron Age
The Iron Age is the archaeological period generally occurring after the Bronze Age, marked by the prevalent use of iron. The early period of the age is characterized by the widespread use of iron or steel. The adoption of such material coincided with other changes in society, including differing...

 round towers
Broch
A broch is an Iron Age drystone hollow-walled structure of a type found only in Scotland. Brochs include some of the most sophisticated examples of drystone architecture ever created, and belong to the classification "complex Atlantic Roundhouse" devised by Scottish archaeologists in the 1980s....

, St Ninian's Isle
St Ninian's Isle
St Ninian's Isle is a small island connected by the largest active tombolo in the UK to the south-western coast of the Mainland, Shetland, in Scotland. The tombolo, known locally as an ayre, from the Old Norse for 'gravel bank', is 500 metres long. Except at extremely high tides, the sand is above...

 connected to Mainland by the largest active tombolo
Tombolo
A tombolo, from the Italian tombolo, derived from the Latin tumulus, meaning 'mound,' and sometimes translated as ayre , is a deposition landform in which an island is attached to the mainland by a narrow piece of land such as a spit or bar. Once attached, the island is then known as a tied island...

 in the UK, and Out Stack
Out Stack
Out Stack or Ootsta in Shetland, Scotland, is the northernmost of the British Isles, lying immediately to the north of Muckle Flugga and north of the island of Unst. It is one of the North Isles of the Shetland Islands and lies within the Hermaness National Nature Reserve.Out Stack is little more...

, the northernmost
Extreme points of the United Kingdom
This is a list of the extreme points of the United Kingdom: the points that are farther north, south, east or west than any other location. Traditionally the extent of the island of Great Britain has stretched "from Land's End to John o' Groats" .This article does not include references to the...

 point of the British Isles
British Isles
The British Isles are a group of islands off the northwest coast of continental Europe that include the islands of Great Britain and Ireland and over six thousand smaller isles. There are two sovereign states located on the islands: the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and...

. Shetland's location means that it provides a number of such records: Muness
Muness Castle
Muness Castle lies in the south east corner of Unst, Shetland; Scotland's most northerly inhabited island, not far from the rocky headland of Mu Ness...

 is the most northerly castle in the United Kingdom and Skaw
Skaw
Skaw is a tiny settlement on the Shetland island of Unst. It is located north of Haroldswick on a peninsula in the northeast corner of the island, and is the most northerly settlement in the United Kingdom...

 the most northerly settlement.

The geology of Shetland is complex, with numerous faults and fold axes. These islands are the northern outpost of the Caledonian orogeny
Caledonian orogeny
The Caledonian orogeny is a mountain building era recorded in the northern parts of the British Isles, the Scandinavian Mountains, Svalbard, eastern Greenland and parts of north-central Europe. The Caledonian orogeny encompasses events that occurred from the Ordovician to Early Devonian, roughly...

 and there are outcrops of Lewisian
Lewisian complex
The Lewisian complex or Lewisian Gneiss is a suite of Precambrian metamorphic rocks that outcrop in the northwestern part of Scotland, forming part of the Hebridean Terrane. These rocks are of Archaean and Paleoproterozoic age, ranging from 3.0–1.7 Ga. They form the basement on which the...

, Dalriadan and Moine
Moine Supergroup
The Moine Supergroup is a sequence of Neoproterozoic metamorphic rocks that form the dominant outcrop of the Scottish Highlands between the Moine Thrust Belt to the northwest and the Great Glen Fault to the southeast. The sequence is metasedimentary in nature and was metamorphosed and deformed in a...

 metamorphic rocks with similar histories to their equivalents on the Scottish mainland. Similarly, there are also Old Red Sandstone
Old Red Sandstone
The Old Red Sandstone is a British rock formation of considerable importance to early paleontology. For convenience the short version of the term, 'ORS' is often used in literature on the subject.-Sedimentology:...

 deposits and granite
Granite
Granite is a common and widely occurring type of intrusive, felsic, igneous rock. Granite usually has a medium- to coarse-grained texture. Occasionally some individual crystals are larger than the groundmass, in which case the texture is known as porphyritic. A granitic rock with a porphyritic...

 intrusions. The most distinctive feature is the ultrabasic ophiolite, peridotite
Peridotite
A peridotite is a dense, coarse-grained igneous rock, consisting mostly of the minerals olivine and pyroxene. Peridotite is ultramafic, as the rock contains less than 45% silica. It is high in magnesium, reflecting the high proportions of magnesium-rich olivine, with appreciable iron...

 and gabbro
Gabbro
Gabbro refers to a large group of dark, coarse-grained, intrusive mafic igneous rocks chemically equivalent to basalt. The rocks are plutonic, formed when molten magma is trapped beneath the Earth's surface and cools into a crystalline mass....

 on Unst and Fetlar, which are remnants of the Iapetus Ocean
Iapetus Ocean
The Iapetus Ocean was an ocean that existed in the Neoproterozoic and Paleozoic eras of the geologic timescale . The Iapetus Ocean was situated in the southern hemisphere, between the paleocontinents of Laurentia, Baltica and Avalonia...

 floor. Much of Shetland's economy depends on the oil-bearing sediments in the surrounding seas. Geological evidence shows that at around 6100 BC a tsunami
Tsunami
A tsunami is a series of water waves caused by the displacement of a large volume of a body of water, typically an ocean or a large lake...

 caused by the Storegga Slide
Storegga Slide
The three Storegga Slides are considered to be amongst the largest known landslides. They occurred under water, at the edge of Norway's continental shelf , in the Norwegian Sea, 100 km north-west of the Møre coast, causing a very large tsunami in the North Atlantic Ocean...

s hit Shetland, (as well as the rest of the east coast of Scotland), and may have created a wave of up to 25 metres (82 ft) high in the voes
Firth
Firth is the word in the Lowland Scots language and in English used to denote various coastal waters in Scotland and England. In mainland Scotland it is used to describe a large sea bay, or even a strait. In the Northern Isles it more usually refers to a smaller inlet...

 where modern populations are highest.

The highest point of Shetland is Ronas Hill
Ronas Hill
Ronas Hill is a Marilyn, the highest point of Mainland, Shetland, in Scotland. There is a Neolithic chambered cairn near the summit.-Location:...

, which only reaches 450 metres (1,476.4 ft) and the Pleistocene
Pleistocene
The Pleistocene is the epoch from 2,588,000 to 11,700 years BP that spans the world's recent period of repeated glaciations. The name pleistocene is derived from the Greek and ....

 glaciations entirely covered the islands. The Stanes of Stofast is a 2,000 tonne glacial erratic
Glacial erratic
A glacial erratic is a piece of rock that differs from the size and type of rock native to the area in which it rests. "Erratics" take their name from the Latin word errare, and are carried by glacial ice, often over distances of hundreds of kilometres...

 that came to rest on a prominent hilltop in Lunnasting during this period.

Shetland is a National Scenic Area
National Scenic Area
National Scenic Area is a designation for areas of natural beauty used by more than one nation.* National Scenic Area * National Scenic Area * National scenic areas in Taiwan* National Scenic Area...

, although unusually this single designated area is made up of a number of discrete locations: Fair Isle, Foula, South West Mainland (including the Scalloway Islands
Scalloway Islands
The Scalloway Islands are in Shetland opposite Scalloway on south west of the Mainland . They form a mini-archipelago and include:* Burra ** West Burra...

), Muckle Roe, Esha Ness
Esha Ness Lighthouse
Esha Ness Lighthouse is situated on the Northmavine peninsula in the north-west of the Shetland Islands, Scotland. It sometimes rendered as Eshaness Lighthouse....

, Fethaland and Herma Ness
Hermaness
Hermaness is the northernmost headland of Unst, the northernmost inhabited island of Shetland, Scotland. It consists of sea cliffs and moorland.-Hermaness National Nature Reserve:...

.

Climate

Shetland has an oceanic climate, with long but mild winters and short, cool summers. The climate all year round is moderate due to the influence of the surrounding seas, with average peak temperatures of 5 °C (41 °F) in March and 14 °C (57.2 °F) in July and August. Temperatures over 21 °C (69.8 °F) are rare. The highest temperature on record was 23.4 °C (74.1 °F) in July 1991 and the coldest -8.9 °C in the Januarys of 1952 and 1959. The frost-free period may be as little as 3 months.

The general character of the climate is windy and cloudy with at least 2 mm (0.078740157480315 in) of rain falling on more than 250 days a year. Average yearly precipitation
Precipitation (meteorology)
In meteorology, precipitation In meteorology, precipitation In meteorology, precipitation (also known as one of the classes of hydrometeors, which are atmospheric water phenomena is any product of the condensation of atmospheric water vapor that falls under gravity. The main forms of precipitation...

 is 1003 mm (39.5 in), with November and December the wettest months. Snowfall is usually confined to the period November to February and seldom lies on the ground for more than a day. Less rain falls from April to August although no month receives less than 50 mm (2 in). Fog
Fog
Fog is a collection of water droplets or ice crystals suspended in the air at or near the Earth's surface. While fog is a type of stratus cloud, the term "fog" is typically distinguished from the more generic term "cloud" in that fog is low-lying, and the moisture in the fog is often generated...

 is common during summer due to the cooling effect of the sea on mild southerly airflows.

Due to the islands' latitude
Latitude
In geography, the latitude of a location on the Earth is the angular distance of that location south or north of the Equator. The latitude is an angle, and is usually measured in degrees . The equator has a latitude of 0°, the North pole has a latitude of 90° north , and the South pole has a...

, on clear winter nights the "northern lights" can sometimes be seen in the sky, while in summer there is almost perpetual daylight, a state of affairs known locally as the "simmer dim". Annual bright sunshine averages 1090 hours and overcast days are common.

Prehistory

Due to the practice, dating to at least the early Neolithic, of building in stone on virtually treeless islands, Shetland is extremely rich in physical remains of the prehistoric eras and there are over 5,000 archaeological sites all told. A midden
Midden
A midden, is an old dump for domestic waste which may consist of animal bone, human excrement, botanical material, vermin, shells, sherds, lithics , and other artifacts and ecofacts associated with past human occupation...

 site at West Voe on the south coast of Mainland, dated to 4320–4030 BC, has provided the first evidence of Mesolithic human activity on Shetland. The same site provides dates for early Neolithic
Neolithic
The Neolithic Age, Era, or Period, or New Stone Age, was a period in the development of human technology, beginning about 9500 BC in some parts of the Middle East, and later in other parts of the world. It is traditionally considered as the last part of the Stone Age...

 activity and finds at Scord of Brouster
Scord of Brouster
The Scord of Brouster is one of the earliest Neolithic farm sites in Shetland, Scotland. It has been dated to 2220 BC with a time window of 80 years on either side. It comprises three houses, several fields surrounded by walls, and a cairn...

 in Walls have been dated to 3400 BC. "Shetland knives" are stone tools that date from this period made from felsite
Felsite
Felsite is a very fine grained volcanic rock that may or may not contain larger crystals. Felsite is a field term for a light colored rock that typically requires petrographic examination or chemical analysis for more precise definition...

 from Northmavine
Northmavine
Northmavine is a peninsula of Shetland in Scotland. It is in the north west of the island, and contains the villages of Hillswick, Ollaberry, and North Roe...

.

Pottery shards found at the important site of Jarlshof
Jarlshof
Jarlshof is the best known prehistoric archaeological site in Shetland, Scotland. It lies near the southern tip of the Shetland Mainland and has been described as "one of the most remarkable archaeological sites ever excavated in the British Isles"...

 also indicate that there was Neolithic activity there although the main settlement dates from the Bronze Age
Bronze Age
The Bronze Age is a period characterized by the use of copper and its alloy bronze as the chief hard materials in the manufacture of some implements and weapons. Chronologically, it stands between the Stone Age and Iron Age...

. This includes a smithy
Forge
A forge is a hearth used for forging. The term "forge" can also refer to the workplace of a smith or a blacksmith, although the term smithy is then more commonly used.The basic smithy contains a forge, also known as a hearth, for heating metals...

, a cluster of wheelhouses
Wheelhouse (archaeology)
In archaeology, a wheelhouse is a prehistoric structure from the Iron Age found in Scotland. The term was first coined after the discovery of a ruined mound in 1855. The distinctive architectural form related to the complex roundhouses, constitute the main settlement type in the Western Isles, in...

 and a later broch. The site has provided evidence of habitation during various phases right up until Viking
Viking
The term Viking is customarily used to refer to the Norse explorers, warriors, merchants, and pirates who raided, traded, explored and settled in wide areas of Europe, Asia and the North Atlantic islands from the late 8th to the mid-11th century.These Norsemen used their famed longships to...

 times. Heel-shaped cairns, are a style of chambered cairn
Chambered cairn
A chambered cairn is a burial monument, usually constructed during the Neolithic, consisting of a cairn of stones inside which a sizeable chamber was constructed. Some chambered cairns are also passage-graves....

 unique to Shetland, with a particularly large example on Vementry
Vementry
Vementry is an uninhabited island in Shetland, Scotland, on the north side of the West Mainland, lying south of Muckle Roe....

.

Numerous brochs were erected during the Iron Age
Iron Age
The Iron Age is the archaeological period generally occurring after the Bronze Age, marked by the prevalent use of iron. The early period of the age is characterized by the widespread use of iron or steel. The adoption of such material coincided with other changes in society, including differing...

. In addition to Mousa there are significant ruins at Clickimin, Culswick, Old Scatness
Old Scatness
Old Scatness is an archeological site in the South Mainland of Shetland, near Sumburgh Airport consisting of mediaeval, Viking, Pictish, and Bronze Age remains. It has been a settlement for thousands of years, each new generation adding buildings, and leveling off old ones...

 and West Burrafirth, although their origin and purpose is a matter of some controversy. The later Iron Age inhabitants of the Northern Isles
Northern Isles
The Northern Isles is a chain of islands off the north coast of mainland Scotland. The climate is cool and temperate and much influenced by the surrounding seas. There are two main island groups: Shetland and Orkney...

 were probably Pictish, although the historical record is sparse. Hunter (2000) states that in relation to King Bridei I of the Picts
Bridei I of the Picts
Bridei son of Maelchon, was king of the Picts until his death around 584 to 586.Bridei is first mentioned in Irish annals for 558–560, when the Annals of Ulster report "the migration before Máelchú's son i.e. king Bruide". The Ulster annalist does not say who fled, but the later Annals of...

 in the sixth century AD: "As for Shetland, Orkney, Skye and the Western Isles, their inhabitants, most of whom appear to have been Pictish in culture and speech at this time, are likely to have regarded Bridei as a fairly distant presence.” In 2011 the collective site, "The Crucible of Iron Age Shetland
The Crucible of Iron Age Shetland
The Crucible of Iron Age Shetland is a combination of three sites in Shetland that have applied to be on the United Kingdom "Tentative List" of possible nominations for the UNESCO World Heritage Programme list of sites of outstanding cultural or natural importance to the common heritage of humankind...

" including Broch of Mousa, Old Scatness and Jarlshof joined the UKs "Tentative List" of World Heritage Sites
World Heritage Sites in Scotland
World Heritage Sites in Scotland are specific locations that have been included in the UNESCO World Heritage Programme list of sites of outstanding cultural or natural importance to the common heritage of humankind. Historic Scotland is responsible for 'cultural' sites as part of their wider...

.

Scandinavian colonisation

The expanding population of Scandinavia
Scandinavia
Scandinavia is a cultural, historical and ethno-linguistic region in northern Europe that includes the three kingdoms of Denmark, Norway and Sweden, characterized by their common ethno-cultural heritage and language. Modern Norway and Sweden proper are situated on the Scandinavian Peninsula,...

 led to a shortage of available resources and arable land there and led to a period of Viking expansion
Viking expansion
The Vikings sailed most of the North Atlantic, reaching south to North Africa and east to Russia, Constantinople and the Middle East, as looters, traders, colonists, and mercenaries...

, the Norse
Norsemen
Norsemen is used to refer to the group of people as a whole who spoke what is now called the Old Norse language belonging to the North Germanic branch of Indo-European languages, especially Norwegian, Icelandic, Faroese, Swedish and Danish in their earlier forms.The meaning of Norseman was "people...

 gradually shifting their attention from plundering to invasion. Shetland was colonised during the late 8th and 9th centuries, the fate of the existing indigenous population being uncertain. Modern Shetlanders have almost identical proportions of Scandinavian matrilineal and patrilineal ancestry, suggesting that the islands were settled by both men and women in equal measure.

Viking
Viking
The term Viking is customarily used to refer to the Norse explorers, warriors, merchants, and pirates who raided, traded, explored and settled in wide areas of Europe, Asia and the North Atlantic islands from the late 8th to the mid-11th century.These Norsemen used their famed longships to...

s then made the islands the headquarters of pirate expeditions carried out against Norway and the coasts of mainland Scotland. In response, Norwegian king Harald Hårfagre
Harald I of Norway
Harald Fairhair or Harald Finehair , , son of Halfdan the Black, was the first king of Norway.-Background:Little is known of the historical Harald...

 ("Harald Fair Hair") annexed the Northern Isles
Northern Isles
The Northern Isles is a chain of islands off the north coast of mainland Scotland. The climate is cool and temperate and much influenced by the surrounding seas. There are two main island groups: Shetland and Orkney...

 (comprising Orkney and Shetland) in 875. Rognvald Eysteinsson received Orkney and Shetland from Harald as an earldom as reparation for the death of his son in battle in Scotland, and then passed the earldom on to his brother Sigurd the Mighty
Sigurd Eysteinsson
Sigurd Eysteinsson was the second Viking Earl of Orkney, who succeeded his brother Rognvald Eysteinsson. He was a leader in the Viking conquest of what is now northern Scotland. Bizarrely, he was killed by the severed head of one his enemies, Máel Brigte, who may have been mórmaer of Moray...

.

The islands were Christianised
Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

 in the late 10th century. King Olav Tryggvasson
Olaf I of Norway
Olaf Tryggvason was King of Norway from 995 to 1000. He was the son of Tryggvi Olafsson, king of Viken , and, according to later sagas, the great-grandson of Harald Fairhair, first King of Norway.Olaf played an important part in the often forcible, on pain of torture or death, conversion of the...

 summoned the jarl
Earl
An earl is a member of the nobility. The title is Anglo-Saxon, akin to the Scandinavian form jarl, and meant "chieftain", particularly a chieftain set to rule a territory in a king's stead. In Scandinavia, it became obsolete in the Middle Ages and was replaced with duke...

Sigurd the Stout during a visit to Orkney and said "I order you and all your subjects to be baptised. If you refuse, I'll have you killed on the spot and I swear I will ravage every island with fire and steel." Unsurprisingly, Sigurd agreed and the islands became Christian at a stroke. Unusually, from c. 1100 onwards the Norse jarls owed allegiance both to Norway and to the Scottish crown through their holdings as Earls of Caithness.

In 1194 when Harald Maddadsson
Harald Maddadsson
Harald Maddadsson was Earl of Orkney and Mormaer of Caithness from 1139 until 1206. He was the son of Matad, Mormaer of Atholl, and Margaret, daughter of Earl Haakon Paulsson of Orkney...

 was Earl of Orkney and Shetland
Earl of Orkney
The Earl of Orkney was originally a Norse jarl ruling Orkney, Shetland and parts of Caithness and Sutherland. The Earls were periodically subject to the kings of Norway for the Northern Isles, and later also to the kings of Alba for those parts of their territory in mainland Scotland . The Earl's...

 a rebellion broke out against King Sverre Sigurdsson of Norway. The Øyskjeggs ("Island Beardies") sailed for Norway but were beaten in the Battle of Florvåg near Bergen
Bergen
Bergen is the second largest city in Norway with a population of as of , . Bergen is the administrative centre of Hordaland county. Greater Bergen or Bergen Metropolitan Area as defined by Statistics Norway, has a population of as of , ....

. After his victory King Sverre placed Shetland under direct Norwegian rule, a state of affairs that continued for nearly two centuries.

Increased Scottish interest

From the mid 13th century onwards Scottish monarchs increasingly sought to take control of the islands surrounding the mainland. The process was begun in earnest by Alexander II
Alexander II of Scotland
Alexander II was King of Scots from1214 to his death.-Early life:...

 and was continued by his successor Alexander III
Alexander III of Scotland
Alexander III was King of Scots from 1249 to his death.-Life:...

. This strategy eventually led to an invasion by Haakon Haakonsson
Haakon IV of Norway
Haakon Haakonarson , also called Haakon the Old, was king of Norway from 1217 to 1263. Under his rule, medieval Norway reached its peak....

, King of Norway. His fleet assembled in Bressay Sound before sailing for Scotland. After the stalemate of the Battle of Largs
Battle of Largs
The Battle of Largs was an engagement fought between the armies of Norway and Scotland near the present-day town of Largs in North Ayrshire on the Firth of Clyde in Scotland on 2 October 1263. It was the most important military engagement of the Scottish-Norwegian War. The Norwegian forces were...

, Haakon retreated to Orkney, where he died in December 1263, entertained on his death bed by recitations of the sagas. His death halted any further Norwegian expansion in Scotland and following this ill-fated expedition, the Hebrides and Mann were yielded to the Kingdom of Scotland as a result of the 1266 Treaty of Perth
Treaty of Perth
The Treaty of Perth, 1266, ended military conflict between Norway, under King Magnus VI of Norway, and Scotland, under King Alexander III, over the sovereignty of the Hebrides and the Isle of Man....

, although the Scots recognised continuing Norwegian sovereignty over Orkney and Shetland.

Pawned to Scotland

In the 14th century Orkney and Shetland remained a Norwegian province, but Scottish influence was growing. Jon Haraldsson
Jon Haraldsson
Jon Haraldsson was Earl of Orkney between 1206 and 1231.Jon Haraldsson and his brother David were the sons of Harald Maddadsson with his second wife Hvarflod, daughter of Earl Máel Coluim of Moray. Jon and David were joint Earls of Orkney after the death of their father...

 who was murdered in Thurso
Thurso
-Facilities:Offices of the Highland Council are located in the town, as is the main campus of North Highland College, formerly Thurso College. This is one of several partner colleges which constitute the UHI Millennium Institute, and offers several certificate, diploma and degree courses from...

 in 1231, was the last of an unbroken line of Norse jarls, and thereafter the earls were Scots noblemen of the houses of Angus
Earl of Angus
The Mormaer or Earl of Angus was the ruler of the medieval Scottish province of Angus. The title, in the Peerage of Scotland, is currently held by the Duke of Hamilton.-Mormaers:...

 and St. Clair
Henry I Sinclair, Earl of Orkney
Henry I Sinclair, Earl of Orkney and feudal baron of Roslin was a Scottish nobleman. He is sometimes identified by another spelling of his surname, St. Clair. He was the grandfather of William Sinclair, 1st Earl of Caithness, the builder of Rosslyn Chapel...

. In 1380 Norway formed the Kalmar Union
Kalmar Union
The Kalmar Union is a historiographical term meaning a series of personal unions that united the three kingdoms of Denmark, Norway , and Sweden under a single monarch, though intermittently and with a population...

 with Denmark after which the interest of the royal house in the islands declined. In 1468 Shetland was pledged
Pledge (law)
A pledge is a bailment or deposit of personal property to a creditor to secure repayment for some debt or engagement, The term is also used to denote the property which constitutes the security....

 by Christian I
Christian I of Denmark
Christian I was a Danish monarch, king of Denmark , Norway and Sweden , under the Kalmar Union. In Sweden his short tenure as monarch was preceded by regents, Jöns Bengtsson Oxenstierna and Erik Axelsson Tott and succeeded by regent Kettil Karlsson Vasa...

, in his capacity as King of Norway, as security against the payment of the dowry
Dowry
A dowry is the money, goods, or estate that a woman brings forth to the marriage. It contrasts with bride price, which is paid to the bride's parents, and dower, which is property settled on the bride herself by the groom at the time of marriage. The same culture may simultaneously practice both...

 of his daughter Margaret, betrothed to James III of Scotland
James III of Scotland
James III was King of Scots from 1460 to 1488. James was an unpopular and ineffective monarch owing to an unwillingness to administer justice fairly, a policy of pursuing alliance with the Kingdom of England, and a disastrous relationship with nearly all his extended family.His reputation as the...

. As the money was never paid, the connection with the crown of Scotland has become perpetual. In 1470 William Sinclair, 1st Earl of Caithness
William Sinclair, 1st Earl of Caithness
William Sinclair , 1st Earl of Caithness , 3rd Earl of Orkney , Baron of Roslin was a Scottish nobleman and the builder of Rosslyn Chapel, in Midlothian....

 ceded his title to James III and the following year the Northern Isles were directly annexed to the Crown of Scotland. Nonetheless, Shetland's connection with Norway has proven to be enduring.

From the early 15th century on the Shetlanders sold their goods through the Hanseatic League
Hanseatic League
The Hanseatic League was an economic alliance of trading cities and their merchant guilds that dominated trade along the coast of Northern Europe...

 of German merchantmen. The Hansa would buy shiploads of salted fish, wool and butter and import salt
Salt
In chemistry, salts are ionic compounds that result from the neutralization reaction of an acid and a base. They are composed of cations and anions so that the product is electrically neutral...

, cloth, beer
Beer
Beer is the world's most widely consumed andprobably oldest alcoholic beverage; it is the third most popular drink overall, after water and tea. It is produced by the brewing and fermentation of sugars, mainly derived from malted cereal grains, most commonly malted barley and malted wheat...

 and other goods. The late 16th century and early 17th century was dominated by the influence of the despotic Robert Stewart
Robert Stewart, 1st Earl of Orkney
Robert Stewart, Knt., 1st Earl of Orkney and Lord of Zetland was a recognized illegitimate son of James V, King of Scotland, and his mistress Eupheme Elphinstone....

, Earl of Orkney, who was granted the islands by his half-sister Mary Queen of Scots, and his son Patrick
Patrick Stewart, 2nd Earl of Orkney
Patrick Stewart, 2nd Earl of Orkney and Lord of Shetland was the son of Robert Stewart, 1st Earl of Orkney.On the death of his uncle, Lord Robert Stewart, junior, in 1581 Patrick was given the gift of the Priory of Whithorn...

. The latter commenced the building of Scalloway Castle
Scalloway Castle
Scalloway Castle was built from 1599 by Patrick Stewart, 2nd Earl of Orkney to tighten his grip on Shetland, Scotland. Its site in Shetland's then capital, Scalloway, was surrounded by the sea on three sides.-History:...

, but after his execution in 1609 the Crown annexed Orkney and Shetland again until 1643 when Charles I
Charles I of England
Charles I was King of England, King of Scotland, and King of Ireland from 27 March 1625 until his execution in 1649. Charles engaged in a struggle for power with the Parliament of England, attempting to obtain royal revenue whilst Parliament sought to curb his Royal prerogative which Charles...

 granted them to William Douglas, 7th Earl of Morton
William Douglas, 7th Earl of Morton
William Douglas, 7th Earl of Morton was a grandson of the 6th Earl of Morton. He was Lord High Treasurer of Scotland, and a zealous Royalist, who, on the outbreak of the Great Rebellion in 1642, provided £100,000 for the cause by selling his Dalkeith estates to the Earl of Buccleuch...

. These rights were held on and off by the Mortons until 1766, when they were sold by James Douglas, 14th Earl of Morton
James Douglas, 14th Earl of Morton
James Douglas, 14th Earl of Morton KT FRS was a Scottish astronomer and representative peer who was President of the Philosophical Society of Edinburgh from its foundation in 1737 until his death...

 to Laurence Dundas.

British rule

The trade with the North German towns lasted until the 1707 Act of Union when high salt duties prohibited the German merchants from trading with Shetland. Shetland then went into an economic depression as the Scottish and local traders were not as skilled in trading with salted fish. However, some local merchant-lairds took up where the German merchants had left off, and fitted out their own ships to export fish from Shetland to the Continent. For the independent farmers of Shetland this had negative consequences, as they now had to fish for these merchant-lairds.

Smallpox
Smallpox
Smallpox was an infectious disease unique to humans, caused by either of two virus variants, Variola major and Variola minor. The disease is also known by the Latin names Variola or Variola vera, which is a derivative of the Latin varius, meaning "spotted", or varus, meaning "pimple"...

 afflicted the islands in the 17th and 18th centuries, but as vaccines became common after 1760 the population increased to a maximum of 31,670 in 1861. However, British rule came at price for many ordinary people as well as traders. The Shetlanders nautical skills were sought by the Royal Navy
Royal Navy
The Royal Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Founded in the 16th century, it is the oldest service branch and is known as the Senior Service...

: some 3,000 served during the Napoleonic wars
Napoleonic Wars
The Napoleonic Wars were a series of wars declared against Napoleon's French Empire by opposing coalitions that ran from 1803 to 1815. As a continuation of the wars sparked by the French Revolution of 1789, they revolutionised European armies and played out on an unprecedented scale, mainly due to...

 from 1800 to 1815 and press gangs
Impressment
Impressment, colloquially, "the Press", was the act of taking men into a navy by force and without notice. It was used by the Royal Navy, beginning in 1664 and during the 18th and early 19th centuries, in wartime, as a means of crewing warships, although legal sanction for the practice goes back to...

 were rife. During this period 120 men were taken from Fetlar alone and only 20 of them returned home. By the late 19th century 90% of all Shetland was owned by just 32 people, and between 1861 and 1881 more than 8,000 Shetlanders emigrated. With the passing of the Crofters' Act
Crofters' Holdings (Scotland) Act 1886
The Crofters' Holdings Act, 1886 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom which created legal definitions of crofting parish and crofter, granted security of tenure to crofters and produced the first Crofters Commission, a land court which ruled on disputes between landlords and crofters...

 in 1886 the Liberal
Liberal Party (UK)
The Liberal Party was one of the two major political parties of the United Kingdom during the 19th and early 20th centuries. It was a third party of negligible importance throughout the latter half of the 20th Century, before merging with the Social Democratic Party in 1988 to form the present day...

 prime minister William Gladstone
William Ewart Gladstone
William Ewart Gladstone FRS FSS was a British Liberal statesman. In a career lasting over sixty years, he served as Prime Minister four separate times , more than any other person. Gladstone was also Britain's oldest Prime Minister, 84 years old when he resigned for the last time...

 emancipated crofters from the rule of the landlords. The Act enabled those who had effectively been landowners' serfs to become owner-occupiers of their own small farms.

20th century

During World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

 many Shetlanders served in the Gordon Highlanders, a further 3,000 served in the Merchant Navy and more than 1500 in a special local naval reserve. The 10th Cruiser Squadron was stationed at Swarbacks Minn and during a single year from March 1917 more than 4,500 ships sailed from Lerwick as part of an escorted convey system. In total, Shetland lost more than 500 men, a higher proportion than any other part of Britain, and there were further waves of emigration in the 1920s and 1930s.

During World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 a Norwegian naval unit nicknamed the "Shetland Bus
Shetland bus
The Shetland Bus was the nickname of a clandestine special operations group that made a permanent link between Shetland, Scotland, and German-occupied Norway from 1941 until the German occupation ended on 8 May 1945. From mid-1942 the official name of the group was "Norwegian Naval Independent Unit"...

" was established by the Special Operations Executive
Special Operations Executive
The Special Operations Executive was a World War II organisation of the United Kingdom. It was officially formed by Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Minister of Economic Warfare Hugh Dalton on 22 July 1940, to conduct guerrilla warfare against the Axis powers and to instruct and aid local...

 in the autumn of 1940 with a base first at Lunna
Lunna House
Lunna House is a 17th-century laird's house on Lunna Ness in the Shetland Islands. Lunna House is noted for having "the best historic designed landscape in Shetland"...

 and later in Scalloway to conduct operations around the coast of Norway. About 30 fishing vessels used by Norwegian refugees were gathered and the Shetland Bus conducted covert operations, carrying intelligence agents, refugees, instructors for the resistance, and military supplies. It made over 200 trips across the sea with Leif Larsen
Leif Larsen
Leif Andreas Larsen DSO, DSC, CGM, DSM and Bar , popularly known as ShetlandsLarsen, was a Norwegian sailor and the most highly decorated allied naval officer of World War II...

, the most highly decorated allied
Allies of World War II
The Allies of World War II were the countries that opposed the Axis powers during the Second World War . Former Axis states contributing to the Allied victory are not considered Allied states...

 naval officer of the war, making 52 of them. Several RAF bases were also established at Sullom Voe and several lighthouses suffered enemy air attacks.

Oil reserves discovered in the later 20th century in the seas both east and west of Shetland have provided a much needed alternative source of income for the islands. The East Shetland Basin
East Shetland Basin
The East Shetland Basin is a major oil-producing area of the North Sea between Scotland and Norway.Oil produced there is landed at Sullom Voe Terminal in the Shetland Islands.-See also:*Energy policy of the United Kingdom...

 is one of Europe's largest oil fields and as a result of the oil revenue and the cultural links with Norway, a small independence movement
Orkney and Shetland Movement
The Orkney and Shetland Movement was an electoral coalition formed for the 1987 general election. The pro-devolution Orkney Movement and Shetland Movement agreed on selecting John Goodlad, the secretary of the Shetland Fishermen's Association, as a joint candidate for the Orkney and Shetland...

 developed briefly. It saw as its model the Isle of Man
Isle of Man
The Isle of Man , otherwise known simply as Mann , is a self-governing British Crown Dependency, located in the Irish Sea between the islands of Great Britain and Ireland, within the British Isles. The head of state is Queen Elizabeth II, who holds the title of Lord of Mann. The Lord of Mann is...

, as well as Shetland's closest neighbour, the Faroe Islands
Faroe Islands
The Faroe Islands are an island group situated between the Norwegian Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, approximately halfway between Scotland and Iceland. The Faroe Islands are a self-governing territory within the Kingdom of Denmark, along with Denmark proper and Greenland...

, an autonomous dependency of Denmark
Denmark
Denmark is a Scandinavian country in Northern Europe. The countries of Denmark and Greenland, as well as the Faroe Islands, constitute the Kingdom of Denmark . It is the southernmost of the Nordic countries, southwest of Sweden and south of Norway, and bordered to the south by Germany. Denmark...

.

Economy

Today, the main revenue producers in Shetland are agriculture, aquaculture
Aquaculture
Aquaculture, also known as aquafarming, is the farming of aquatic organisms such as fish, crustaceans, molluscs and aquatic plants. Aquaculture involves cultivating freshwater and saltwater populations under controlled conditions, and can be contrasted with commercial fishing, which is the...

, fishing
Fishing
Fishing is the activity of trying to catch wild fish. Fish are normally caught in the wild. Techniques for catching fish include hand gathering, spearing, netting, angling and trapping....

, renewable energy
Renewable energy in Scotland
The production of renewable energy in Scotland is an issue that has come to the fore in technical, economic, and political terms during the opening years of the 21st century. The natural resource base for renewables is extraordinary by European, and even global standards...

, the petroleum industry
Petroleum
Petroleum or crude oil is a naturally occurring, flammable liquid consisting of a complex mixture of hydrocarbons of various molecular weights and other liquid organic compounds, that are found in geologic formations beneath the Earth's surface. Petroleum is recovered mostly through oil drilling...

 (crude oil and natural gas
Natural gas
Natural gas is a naturally occurring gas mixture consisting primarily of methane, typically with 0–20% higher hydrocarbons . It is found associated with other hydrocarbon fuel, in coal beds, as methane clathrates, and is an important fuel source and a major feedstock for fertilizers.Most natural...

 production), the creative industries and tourism.

Fishing remains central to the islands' economy today, with the total catch being 75767 tonne in 2009, valued at over £73.2 million. In addition Mackerel
Atlantic mackerel
The Atlantic mackerel , is a pelagic schooling species of mackerel found on both sides of the North Atlantic Ocean. The species is also called Boston mackerel, or just mackerel....

, which makes up more than half of the catch in Shetland by weight and value, there are significant landings of Haddock
Haddock
The haddock , also known as the offshore hake, is a marine fish distributed on both sides of the North Atlantic. Haddock is a popular food fish and is widely fished commercially....

, Cod
Atlantic cod
The Atlantic cod, Gadus morhua, is a well-known demersal food fish belonging to the family Gadidae. It is also commercially known as cod, codling or haberdine....

, Herring
Atlantic herring
Atlantic herring is a fish in the family Clupeidae. It is one of the most abundant fish species on earth. Herring can be found on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean, congregating in large schools. They can grow up to in length and weigh more than...

, Whiting
Merlangius merlangus
Merlangius merlangus, commonly known as whiting is an important food fish in the eastern North Atlantic, northern Mediterranean, western Baltic, and Black Sea...

, Monkfish
Lophius piscatorius
The angler, also sometimes called fishing-frog, frog-fish or sea-devil, Lophius piscatorius, is a monkfish in the family Lophiidae. It is found in coastal waters of the northeast Atlantic, from the Barents Sea to the Strait of Gibraltar, the Mediterranean and the Black Sea...

 and shellfish
Shellfish
Shellfish is a culinary and fisheries term for exoskeleton-bearing aquatic invertebrates used as food, including various species of molluscs, crustaceans, and echinoderms. Although most kinds of shellfish are harvested from saltwater environments, some kinds are found only in freshwater...

. Farming is mostly concerned with the raising of Shetland sheep
Shetland (sheep)
The Shetland sheep is a small, fine-woolled breed of sheep originating in the Shetland Isles, but now also kept in many other parts of the world. It is one of the Northern European short-tailed sheep group, and is closely related to the extinct Scottish Dunface. Shetlands are classed as a...

, known for their unusually fine wool. Crops raised include oats and barley; however, the cold, windswept islands make for a harsh environment for most plants. Crofting
Crofting
Crofting is a form of land tenure and small-scale food production unique to the Scottish Highlands, the Islands of Scotland, and formerly on the Isle of Man....

, the farming of small plots of land on a legally restricted tenancy basis, is still practiced and viewed as a key Shetland tradition as well as important source of income.

Oil and gas was first landed at Sullom Voe
Sullom Voe
Sullom Voe is an inlet between North Mainland and Northmavine on Shetland in Scotland. It is a location of the Sullom Voe oil terminal. The word Voe is from the Old Norse vagr and denotes a small bay or narrow creek...

 in 1978, and it has subsequently become one of the largest terminals in Europe. Taxes from the oil have increased public sector spending on social welfare, art, sport, environmental measures and financial development. Three quarters of the islands work force is employed in the service sector and Shetland Islands Council
Shetland Islands Council
The Shetland Islands Council is the local authority for Shetland. It was established by the Local Government Act 1973 and is the successor to the former Lerwick Town Council and Zetland County Council...

 alone accounted for 27.9% of output in 2003. Shetland's access to oil revenues has funded the Shetland Charitable Trust which in turn funds a wide variety of local programmes. The balance of the fund in 2011 was £217million i.e. about £9,500 per head.

In January 2007, the Shetland Islands Council signed a partnership agreement with Scottish and Southern Energy for a 200-turbine wind farm
Wind farm
A wind farm is a group of wind turbines in the same location used to produce electric power. A large wind farm may consist of several hundred individual wind turbines, and cover an extended area of hundreds of square miles, but the land between the turbines may be used for agricultural or other...

 and subsea cable. This renewable energy
Renewable energy
Renewable energy is energy which comes from natural resources such as sunlight, wind, rain, tides, and geothermal heat, which are renewable . About 16% of global final energy consumption comes from renewables, with 10% coming from traditional biomass, which is mainly used for heating, and 3.4% from...

 project would produce about 600 megawatts
Watt
The watt is a derived unit of power in the International System of Units , named after the Scottish engineer James Watt . The unit, defined as one joule per second, measures the rate of energy conversion.-Definition:...

 and contribute about £20 million to the Shetland economy per year. The plan is meeting significant opposition within the islands, primarily resulting from the anticipated visual impact of the development. The PURE project on Unst is a research centre which uses a combination of wind power and fuel cell
Fuel cell
A fuel cell is a device that converts the chemical energy from a fuel into electricity through a chemical reaction with oxygen or another oxidizing agent. Hydrogen is the most common fuel, but hydrocarbons such as natural gas and alcohols like methanol are sometimes used...

s to create a wind hydrogen system. The project is run by the Unst Partnership, the local community's development trust
Development trust
Development Trusts are organisations which operate in the United Kingdom that are:*community based, owned and led*engaged in the economic, environmental and social regeneration of a defined area or community...

.

Knitwear is important both to the economy and culture of Shetland and the Fair Isle design
Fair Isle (technique)
thumb|Fair Isle [[sweater|jumper]] done in the traditional style, from Fair Isle.Fair Isle is a traditional knitting technique used to create patterns with multiple colours. It is named after Fair Isle, a tiny island in the north of Scotland, that forms part of the Shetland islands...

 is well-known. However the industry faces challenges due to plagiarism
Plagiarism
Plagiarism is defined in dictionaries as the "wrongful appropriation," "close imitation," or "purloining and publication" of another author's "language, thoughts, ideas, or expressions," and the representation of them as one's own original work, but the notion remains problematic with nebulous...

 of the word "Shetland" by manufacturers operating elsewhere and a certification trademark, "The Shetland Lady", has been registered. Shetland is served by a weekly local newspaper, The Shetland Times
The Shetland Times
The Shetland Times is a weekly newspaper in Shetland, published on Fridays and based in Lerwick, Shetland, Scotland.The newspaper is owned by The Shetland Times Ltd, a company which also operates a publishing arm, a bookshop and a printing company. The Shetland Times Ltd claims to have 55...

and the online Shetland News with radio service being provided by BBC Radio Shetland
BBC Radio Shetland
BBC Radio Shetland is an opt-out service of BBC Radio Scotland, covering the Shetland Islands, Scotland. The station airs from studios located in Pitt Lane, Lerwick.- Programming :...

 and the commercial radio station SIBC
SIBC
SIBC is a local independent commercial radio station that broadcasts to Shetland Islands. It is located at Market Street, Lerwick and broadcasts in FM on 96.2 MHz and 102.2 MHz, additionally in Lerwick...

.

Shetland is a popular destination for cruise ships and in 2010 the Lonely Planet
Lonely Planet
Lonely Planet is the largest travel guide book and digital media publisher in the world. The company is owned by BBC Worldwide, which bought a 75% share from the founders Maureen and Tony Wheeler in 2007 and the final 25% in February 2011...

 guide named Shetland as the sixth best region in the world for tourists seeking unspoilt destinations. The islands were described as “beautiful and rewarding" and the Shetlanders as "a fiercely independent and self-reliant bunch". Overall visitor expenditure was worth £16.4 million in 2006, in which year just under 26,000 cruise liner passengers arrived at Lerwick Harbour. In 2009 the most popular visitor attractions were the Shetland Museum
Shetland Museum
The New Shetland Museum and Archives at Hay's Dock, Lerwick, was officially opened on 31 May 2007 by HM Queen Sonja of Norway and the Duke & Duchess of Rothesay .-New building:...

, the RSPB reserve at Sumburgh Head, Bonhoga Gallery at Weisdale Mill
Weisdale Mill
Weisdale Mill is a watermill in the village of Weisdale, Shetland. It is located near the head of Weisdale Voe on the west of the island, a twenty-minute drive from the main town of Lerwick.-History:...

 and Jarlshof.

Transport

Transport between islands is primarily by ferry and Shetland Islands Council operate various inter-island services
SIC Ferries
Shetland Islands Council Ferries is a company operating inter-island ferry services in Shetland, a subarctic archipelago off the northeast coast of Scotland.-Services:Services of the SIC Ferries are....

. Shetland is also served by a domestic connection from Lerwick to Aberdeen
Aberdeen
Aberdeen is Scotland's third most populous city, one of Scotland's 32 local government council areas and the United Kingdom's 25th most populous city, with an official population estimate of ....

 on mainland Scotland. This service, which takes about 12 hours, is operated by Northlink Ferries
Northlink Ferries
NorthLink Ferries operates daily ferry services between mainland Scotland and the northern archipelagos of Orkney and Shetland. NorthLink Ferries is a wholly owned subsidiary of David MacBrayne Ltd, whose sole shareholder is the Scottish Government.-History:...

.

Sumburgh Airport
Sumburgh Airport
-Other tenants:*Maritime and Coastguard Agency *Bristow Helicopters*Bond Helicopters -Incidents and accidents:...

, the main airport on Shetland, is located close to Sumburgh Head, 40 km (24.9 mi) south of Lerwick. Loganair
Loganair
Loganair is a Scottish airline with its registered office on the grounds of Glasgow International Airport and in Paisley, Renfrewshire, Scotland. Loganair operates scheduled services under a Flybe franchise in mainland Scotland and to Orkney, Shetland and the Western Isles. In addition it operates...

 operates flights for FlyBe
Flybe
Flybe Group PLC is a British low-cost regional airline headquartered at the Jack Walker House at Exeter International Airport in Devon, England...

 to other parts of Scotland up to ten times a day. The destinations are Kirkwall
Kirkwall
Kirkwall is the biggest town and capital of Orkney, off the coast of northern mainland Scotland. The town is first mentioned in Orkneyinga saga in the year 1046 when it is recorded as the residence of Rögnvald Brusason the Earl of Orkney, who was killed by his uncle Thorfinn the Mighty...

, Aberdeen
Aberdeen
Aberdeen is Scotland's third most populous city, one of Scotland's 32 local government council areas and the United Kingdom's 25th most populous city, with an official population estimate of ....

, Inverness
Inverness
Inverness is a city in the Scottish Highlands. It is the administrative centre for the Highland council area, and is regarded as the capital of the Highlands of Scotland...

, Glasgow
Glasgow
Glasgow is the largest city in Scotland and third most populous in the United Kingdom. The city is situated on the River Clyde in the country's west central lowlands...

 and Edinburgh
Edinburgh
Edinburgh is the capital city of Scotland, the second largest city in Scotland, and the eighth most populous in the United Kingdom. The City of Edinburgh Council governs one of Scotland's 32 local government council areas. The council area includes urban Edinburgh and a rural area...

.

Inter-Island flights are available from the Shetland Mainland to most of the inhabited islands including those from Tingwall Airport
Tingwall Airport
Tingwall Airport , also known as Lerwick/Tingwall Airport, is located in the Tingwall valley, near the village of Gott, northwest of Lerwick on the mainland island of the Shetland, Scotland....

 11 km (6.8 mi) west of Lerwick, operated by Directflight Ltd., in partnership with Shetland Islands Council. There are frequent charter flights from Aberdeen
Aberdeen
Aberdeen is Scotland's third most populous city, one of Scotland's 32 local government council areas and the United Kingdom's 25th most populous city, with an official population estimate of ....

 to Scatsta near Sullom Voe, which are used to transport oilfield workers and this small terminal has the fifth largest number of international passengers in Scotland. Public bus services are operated on Mainland, Whalsay, Burra, Unst and Yell.

The archipelago is exposed to wind and tide, and there are numerous sites of wrecked ships. Lighthouse
Lighthouse
A lighthouse is a tower, building, or other type of structure designed to emit light from a system of lamps and lenses or, in older times, from a fire, and used as an aid to navigation for maritime pilots at sea or on inland waterways....

s are sited as an aid to navigation at various locations.

Public services

The Shetland Islands Council is the local authority for all the islands, based in Lerwick Town Hall
Lerwick Town Hall
Lerwick Town Hall is located in central Lerwick, Shetland. It was completed in 1884 during a period of expansion in Lerwick due to the wealth the herring industry brought...

. The islands' motto, which appears on the Council's coat of arms
Coat of arms
A coat of arms is a unique heraldic design on a shield or escutcheon or on a surcoat or tabard used to cover and protect armour and to identify the wearer. Thus the term is often stated as "coat-armour", because it was anciently displayed on the front of a coat of cloth...

, is Með lögum skal land byggja. This phrase is taken from Njáls saga and means "By law shall the land be built up". Shetland is subdivided into 12 civil parishes that no longer have administrative significance but are sometimes used for statistical purposes and 18 community councils.

In Shetland there are two High Schools—Anderson and Brae—seven Junior High Schools, and over thirty primary schools. Shetland is also home to the North Atlantic Fisheries College, the Centre for Nordic Studies and Shetland College
Shetland College
Shetland College is a further and higher education college in Lerwick, Shetland. It is part of the University of the Highlands and Islands.The main campus is located at Gremista, on the outskirts of Lerwick. There are also dedicated premises in Lerwick for teaching Hospitality, at Anderson High...

, which are all associated with the University of the Highlands and Islands.

Politics

Shetland is represented in the House of Commons
British House of Commons
The House of Commons is the lower house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, which also comprises the Sovereign and the House of Lords . Both Commons and Lords meet in the Palace of Westminster. The Commons is a democratically elected body, consisting of 650 members , who are known as Members...

 as part of the Orkney and Shetland
Orkney and Shetland (UK Parliament constituency)
Orkney and Shetland is a constituency of the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It elects one Member of Parliament by the first past the post system of election...

 constituency
United Kingdom constituencies
In the United Kingdom , each of the electoral areas or divisions called constituencies elects one or more members to a parliament or assembly.Within the United Kingdom there are now five bodies with members elected by constituencies:...

, which elects one Member of Parliament
Member of Parliament
A Member of Parliament is a representative of the voters to a :parliament. In many countries with bicameral parliaments, the term applies specifically to members of the lower house, as upper houses often have a different title, such as senate, and thus also have different titles for its members,...

, the current incumbent being Alistair Carmichael
Alistair Carmichael
Alexander Morrison "Alistair" Carmichael is a Liberal Democrat politician. He has been the Member of Parliament for the Scottish seat of Orkney and Shetland since the 2001 general election.-Early life:...

. This seat has been held by the Liberal Democrats or their predecessors the Liberal Party
Liberal Party (UK)
The Liberal Party was one of the two major political parties of the United Kingdom during the 19th and early 20th centuries. It was a third party of negligible importance throughout the latter half of the 20th Century, before merging with the Social Democratic Party in 1988 to form the present day...

 since 1950, longer than any other they represent in the UK.
In the Scottish Parliament
Scottish Parliament
The Scottish Parliament is the devolved national, unicameral legislature of Scotland, located in the Holyrood area of the capital, Edinburgh. The Parliament, informally referred to as "Holyrood", is a democratically elected body comprising 129 members known as Members of the Scottish Parliament...

 the Shetland
Shetland (Scottish Parliament constituency)
Shetland is a constituency of the Scottish Parliament . It elects one Member of the Scottish Parliament by the first past the post method of election...

 constituency elects one Member of the Scottish Parliament
Member of the Scottish Parliament
Member of the Scottish Parliament is the title given to any one of the 129 individuals elected to serve in the Scottish Parliament.-Methods of Election:MSPs are elected in one of two ways:...

 (MSP) by the first past the post
Plurality voting system
The plurality voting system is a single-winner voting system often used to elect executive officers or to elect members of a legislative assembly which is based on single-member constituencies...

 system. The current MSP is Tavish Scott
Tavish Scott
Tavish Hamilton Scott MSP is a Scottish politician and MSP for Shetland. He was Leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats from 2008 to 2011...

 of the Scottish Liberal Democrats
Scottish Liberal Democrats
The Scottish Liberal Democrats are one of the three state parties within the federal Liberal Democrats; the others being the Welsh Liberal Democrats and the Liberal Democrats in England...

. Shetland is within the Highlands and Islands electoral region
Scottish Parliament constituencies and regions
Scottish Parliament constituencies and regions were first used in 1999, in the first general election of the Scottish Parliament , created by the Scotland Act 1998....

.

The political composition of the Council is 22 Independents
Independent (politician)
In politics, an independent or non-party politician is an individual not affiliated to any political party. Independents may hold a centrist viewpoint between those of major political parties, a viewpoint more extreme than any major party, or they may have a viewpoint based on issues that they do...

, one of only three Councils in Scotland with a majority of elected members who do not represent a political party.

Roy Grönneberg, who founded the local chapter of the Scottish National Party
Scottish National Party
The Scottish National Party is a social-democratic political party in Scotland which campaigns for Scottish independence from the United Kingdom....

 in 1966, designed the flag of Shetland in cooperation with Bill Adams to mark the 500 year anniversary of the transfer of the islands from Norway to Scotland. The colours are identical to the ones in the Flag of Scotland
Flag of Scotland
The Flag of Scotland, , also known as Saint Andrew's Cross or the Saltire, is the national flag of Scotland. As the national flag it is the Saltire, rather than the Royal Standard of Scotland, which is the correct flag for all individuals and corporate bodies to fly in order to demonstrate both...

, but shaped in the Nordic cross. After several unsuccessful attempts, including a plebiscite
Referendum
A referendum is a direct vote in which an entire electorate is asked to either accept or reject a particular proposal. This may result in the adoption of a new constitution, a constitutional amendment, a law, the recall of an elected official or simply a specific government policy. It is a form of...

 in 1985, the Lord Lyon King of Arms
Lord Lyon King of Arms
The Lord Lyon King of Arms, the head of Lyon Court, is the most junior of the Great Officers of State in Scotland and is the Scottish official with responsibility for regulating heraldry in that country, issuing new grants of arms, and serving as the judge of the Court of the Lord Lyon, the oldest...

 approved it as the official flag of Shetland in 2005.

Shetland is also a lieutenancy area
Lieutenancy areas of Scotland
The lieutenancy areas of Scotland are the areas used for the ceremonial lord-lieutenants, the monarch's representatives, in Scotland. They are different from the local government council areas, the committee areas, the sheriffdoms, the registration counties, the former regions and districts, the...

 of Scotland.

Local culture, religion and the arts

After the islands were transferred to Scotland, thousands of Scots families emigrated to Shetland in the 16th and 17th centuries but studies of the genetic makeup of the islands' population indicate that Shetlanders are just under half Scandinavian in origin. This combination is reflected in many aspects of local life. For example, almost every place name in use can be traced back to the Vikings. The Norn language
Norn language
Norn is an extinct North Germanic language that was spoken in Shetland and Orkney, off the north coast of mainland Scotland, and in Caithness. After the islands were pledged to Scotland by Norway in the 15th century, it was gradually replaced by Scots and on the mainland by Scottish...

 was a form of Old Norse, which continued to be spoken until the 18th century when it was replaced by an insular dialect of Scots
Scots language
Scots is the Germanic language variety spoken in Lowland Scotland and parts of Ulster . It is sometimes called Lowland Scots to distinguish it from Scottish Gaelic, the Celtic language variety spoken in most of the western Highlands and in the Hebrides.Since there are no universally accepted...

 known as Shetlandic, which is in turn is being replaced by Scottish English
Scottish English
Scottish English refers to the varieties of English spoken in Scotland. It may or may not be considered distinct from the Scots language. It is always considered distinct from Scottish Gaelic, a Celtic language....

. Although Norn was spoken for hundreds of years it is now extinct and few written sources remain. Shetlandic is used both in local radio and dialect writing, and kept alive by the Shetland Folk Society
Shetland Folk Society
The Shetland Folk Society was created in 1945 as a heritage group, to gather, record and support all aspects of Shetland's cultural history. The first president was T. A. Robertson , who served until his death in 1973, after which John J. Graham took on the role...

.

The Lerwick Up Helly Aa is one of a variety of fire festivals held in Shetland annually in the middle of winter. The festival is just over 100 years old in its present, highly organised form. Originally a temperance festival held to break up the long nights of winter the festival has become one celebrating the isles heritage and includes a procession of men dressed as Vikings and the burning of a replica longship
Longship
Longships were sea vessels made and used by the Vikings from the Nordic countries for trade, commerce, exploration, and warfare during the Viking Age. The longship’s design evolved over many years, beginning in the Stone Age with the invention of the umiak and continuing up to the 9th century with...

.

The cuisine
Cuisine
Cuisine is a characteristic style of cooking practices and traditions, often associated with a specific culture. Cuisines are often named after the geographic areas or regions that they originate from...

 of Shetland is based on locally produced lamb, beef and seafood, much of it organic
Organic food
Organic foods are foods that are produced using methods that do not involve modern synthetic inputs such as synthetic pesticides and chemical fertilizers, do not contain genetically modified organisms, and are not processed using irradiation, industrial solvents, or chemical food additives.For the...

. Inevitably, the real ale-producing Valhalla Brewery
Valhalla Brewery
The Valhalla Brewery in Baltasound, Unst, Shetland, Scotland, is the northernmost brewery in the British Isles. It was opened by the husband and wife team Sonny and Silvia Priest, in December 1997....

 is the most northerly in Britain. Shetland competes in the biennial International Island Games
International Island Games Association
The International Island Games Association is an organisation the sole purpose of which is to organise the Island Games, a friendly biennial athletic competition between teams from several European islands and other small territories. The IGA liaises with the member island associations and with...

, which it hosted in 2005.

Churches and religion

The Reformation
Reformation
- Movements :* Protestant Reformation, an attempt by Martin Luther to reform the Roman Catholic Church that resulted in a schism, and grew into a wider movement...

 reached the archipelago in 1560. This was an apparently peaceful transition and there is little evidence of religious fervor or intolerance in Shetland's recorded history. A variety of different religious denominations are represented in the islands. The Methodist Church
Methodist Church of Great Britain
The Methodist Church of Great Britain is the largest Wesleyan Methodist body in the United Kingdom, with congregations across Great Britain . It is the United Kingdom's fourth largest Christian denomination, with around 300,000 members and 6,000 churches...

 has a relatively high membership in Shetland, which is a District of the Methodist Church (with the rest of Scotland comprising a separate District). The Church of Scotland
Church of Scotland
The Church of Scotland, known informally by its Scots language name, the Kirk, is a Presbyterian church, decisively shaped by the Scottish Reformation....

 has a Presbytery
Presbyterian polity
Presbyterian polity is a method of church governance typified by the rule of assemblies of presbyters, or elders. Each local church is governed by a body of elected elders usually called the session or consistory, though other terms, such as church board, may apply...

 of Shetland that includes St. Columba's Church
Lerwick and Bressay Parish Church
Lerwick and Bressay Parish Church is the largest Church of Scotland congregation in the Shetland Islands, serving the Island's capital Lerwick and the surrounding area.There are three regular places of worship:...

 in Lerwick.

Music

Shetland's culture and landscapes have inspired a variety of musicians, writers and film-makers. The Forty Fiddlers
The Forty Fiddlers
The Forty Fiddlers, or Da Forty Fiddlers, was a group of Shetland musicians. The group was formed by Dr. Tom Anderson MBE in the late 1950s when he realised that there was a danger of the traditional style of Shetland fiddle music dying out....

 was formed in the 1950s to promote the traditional fiddle style, which is a vibrant part of local culture today. Notable exponents of Shetland folk music include Aly Bain
Aly Bain
Aly Bain MBE is a Shetland fiddler who learned his instrument from the old-time master Tom Anderson. Bain is now considered one of the finest fiddlers in the Scottish tradition. In the early days of his career he formed part of the band The Humblebums with two other ‘unknowns’ Gerry Rafferty and...

 and the late Tom Anderson
Tom Anderson (fiddler)
Dr. Tom Anderson MBE, was a renowned Shetland fiddler and teacher. He was affectionately known to his peers as "Muckle Tammie" .Dr...

 and Peerie Willie Johnson
Peerie Willie Johnson
"Peerie" Willie Johnson was a Scottish folk guitarist and bassist...

. Thomas Fraser
Thomas Fraser (singer)
Thomas Fraser was a fisherman and Country and Western and Rhythm and Blues musician from the Shetland Isles.Fraser was born in on the isle of Burra. He never released any recordings while he was alive, choosing to play his cover versions of American folk, country and western and rhythm and blues...

 was a country music
Country music
Country music is a popular American musical style that began in the rural Southern United States in the 1920s. It takes its roots from Western cowboy and folk music...

ian who never released a commercial recording during his life, but whose work has become popular more than 20 years after his untimely death in 1978.

Writers

Walter Scott
Walter Scott
Sir Walter Scott, 1st Baronet was a Scottish historical novelist, playwright, and poet, popular throughout much of the world during his time....

's 1822 novel The Pirate
The Pirate (novel)
The Pirate is a novel by Walter Scott, based roughly on the life of John Gow who features as Captain Cleveland. The setting is the southern tip of the main island of Shetland , around 1700...

is set in "a remote part of Shetland", and was inspired by his 1814 visit to the islands. The name Jarlshof meaning "Earl's Mansion" is a coinage of his.

Hugh MacDiarmid
Hugh MacDiarmid
Hugh MacDiarmid is the pen name of Christopher Murray Grieve , a significant Scottish poet of the 20th century. He was instrumental in creating a Scottish version of modernism and was a leading light in the Scottish Renaissance of the 20th century...

, the Scots poet and writer lived in Whalsay from the mid-1930s through 1942, and wrote many poems there, including a number that directly address or reflect the Shetland environment such as "On A Raised Beach", which was inspired by a visit to West Linga
West Linga
West Linga is an uninhabited island located between Mainland and Whalsay in Shetland, Scotland.-Geography and geology:West Linga is a long narrow island covered in rough heath. It is separated from Whalsay by Linga Sound, and Lunning on Mainland, Shetland to the west. Little Linga, Swarta Skerry,...

. The 1975 novel North Star by Hammond Innes
Hammond Innes
Ralph Hammond Innes was a British novelist who wrote over 30 novels, as well as children's and travel books....

 is largely set in Shetland and Raman Mundair
Raman Mundair
Raman Mundair is a British poet, writer, artist and playwright. She was born in Ludhiana, India and came to live in the UK at the age of five. Her poetry has been featured in Acumen, Poetry Scotland, Kavya Bharati and widely anthologized...

's 2007 book of poetry A Choreographer's Cartography offers a British Asian perspective on the landscape. Vagaland
Vagaland
Vagaland , is arguably the greatest Shetland poet of the 20th century, was born Thomas Alexander Robertson at Westerwick at the southern tip of the parish of Sandsting, his mother’s home. He was the second son of Thomas Robertson of Skeld and his wife Andrina Johnston...

, who grew up in Walls, was arguably Shetland's finest poet of the 20th century.

There are two monthly magazines in production: Shetland Life and i'i' Shetland.

Films

Michael Powell
Michael Powell (director)
Michael Latham Powell was a renowned English film director, celebrated for his partnership with Emeric Pressburger...

 made The Edge of the World
The Edge of the World
The Edge of the World was the first major project by British filmmaker Michael Powell.-Plot:The film is the story of the de-population of one of the isolated, outer islands of Scotland as, one by one, the younger generation leaves for the greater opportunities offered by the mainland, making it...

in 1937, a dramatisation based on the true story of the evacuation of the last 36 inhabitants of the remote island of St Kilda
St Kilda, Scotland
St Kilda is an isolated archipelago west-northwest of North Uist in the North Atlantic Ocean. It contains the westernmost islands of the Outer Hebrides of Scotland. The largest island is Hirta, whose sea cliffs are the highest in the United Kingdom and three other islands , were also used for...

 on 29 August 1930. St Kilda lies in the Atlantic Ocean
Atlantic Ocean
The Atlantic Ocean is the second-largest of the world's oceanic divisions. With a total area of about , it covers approximately 20% of the Earth's surface and about 26% of its water surface area...

, 64 kilometres (39.8 mi) west of the Outer Hebrides
Outer Hebrides
The Outer Hebrides also known as the Western Isles and the Long Island, is an island chain off the west coast of Scotland. The islands are geographically contiguous with Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, one of the 32 unitary council areas of Scotland...

 but Powell was unable to get permission to film there. Undaunted, he made the film over four months during the summer of 1936 on Foula and the film transposes these events to Shetland. Forty years later, the documentary Return To The Edge Of The World was filmed, capturing a reunion of cast and crew of the film as they revisited the island in 1978.

A number of other films have been made on or about Shetland including A Crofter's Life in Shetland (1932) A Shetland Lyric (1934), Devil's Gate
Devil's Gate (film)
Devil's Gate is a 2003 British film directed by Stuart St. Paul.Upon learning of her father's illness the protagonist Rachael decides to travel home - despite having previously had no intent to ever visit the town again. Her feelings for the town derive from her mistreatment by her mother...

(2003) and It's Nice Up North
It's Nice Up North
It's Nice Up North is a 2006 comedy documentary made by comedian Graham Fellows as his alter ego John Shuttleworth.It was filmed by photographer Martin Parr and edited by Fellows on his laptop on a very low budget....

(2006), a comedy documentary by Graham Fellows
Graham Fellows
Graham David Fellows is an English comedy actor and musician, best known for creating the characters of John Shuttleworth and Jilted John.-Early life:...

.

Wildlife

Shetland has three National Nature Reserve
National Nature Reserve
For details of National nature reserves in the United Kingdom see:*National Nature Reserves in England*National Nature Reserves in Northern Ireland*National Nature Reserves in Scotland*National Nature Reserves in Wales...

s, at the seabird colonies of Hermaness
Hermaness
Hermaness is the northernmost headland of Unst, the northernmost inhabited island of Shetland, Scotland. It consists of sea cliffs and moorland.-Hermaness National Nature Reserve:...

 and Noss
Noss
Noss is a small, previously inhabited island in Shetland, Scotland. It is a sheep farm and has been a National Nature Reserve since 1955.-Geography:...

, and at Keen of Hamar
Keen of Hamar
Keen of Hamar a National Nature Reserve on Unst, in Shetland, Scotland. The reserve, managed by Scottish Natural Heritage, is primarily of botanical interest, for example for populations of Cerastium nigrescens, a plant unique to Unst....

 to preserve the serpentine
Serpentine soil
A serpentine soil is derived from ultramafic rocks, in particular serpentinite, a rock formed by the hydration and metamorphic transformation of ultramafic rock from the Earth's mantle....

 flora. There are a further 81 SSSIs, which cover 66% or more of the land surfaces of Fair Isle, Papa Stour, Fetlar, Noss and Foula. Mainland has 45 separate sites.

Flora

The landscape in Shetland is marked by the grazing of sheep and the harsh conditions have limited the total number of plant species to about 400. Native tree
Tree
A tree is a perennial woody plant. It is most often defined as a woody plant that has many secondary branches supported clear of the ground on a single main stem or trunk with clear apical dominance. A minimum height specification at maturity is cited by some authors, varying from 3 m to...

s such as Rowan
Sorbus aucuparia
Sorbus aucuparia , is a species of the genus Sorbus, native to most of Europe except for the far south, and northern Asia...

 and Crab Apple
Malus sylvestris
Malus sylvestris, the European wild apple, is a species of Malus , native to Europe from as far south as Spain, Italy and Greece to as far north as Scandinavia and Russia. Its scientific name means "forest apple", and the truly wild tree has thorns.In the past, M. sylvestris was thought to be an...

 are only found in a few isolated places such as cliffs and loch islands. The flora is dominated by Arctic-alpine plants, wild flowers, moss
Moss
Mosses are small, soft plants that are typically 1–10 cm tall, though some species are much larger. They commonly grow close together in clumps or mats in damp or shady locations. They do not have flowers or seeds, and their simple leaves cover the thin wiry stems...

 and lichen
Lichen
Lichens are composite organisms consisting of a symbiotic organism composed of a fungus with a photosynthetic partner , usually either a green alga or cyanobacterium...

. Spring Squill
Scilla verna
Scilla verna, commonly known as spring squill, is a flowering plant native to Western Europe. It belongs to the squill genus Scilla. Its star-like blue flowers are produced during the spring....

, Buck's-Horn Plantain
Plantago coronopus
Plantago coronopus is a species of Plantago sometimes grown as a leaf vegetable...

, Scots Lovage
Ligusticum
Ligusticum is a genus of about 25 species of flowering plants in the family Apiaceae, native to cool temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere. Its name is believed to derive from the Italian region of Liguria....

, Roseroot
Rhodiola rosea
Rhodiola rosea is a plant in the Crassulaceae family that grows in cold regions of the world. These include much of the Arctic, the mountains of Central Asia, the Rocky Mountains, and mountainous parts of Europe, such as the Alps, Pyrenees, Carpathian Mountains, Scandinavia, Iceland, Great...

 and Sea Campion are abundant, especially in sheltered places. Shetland Mouse-ear (Cerastium nigrescens) is an endemic flowering plant found only in Shetland. It was first recorded in 1837 by botanist Thomas Edmondston
Thomas Edmondston
Thomas Edmondston was a British-born botanist.The family of Edmondston was prominent in 19th century Shetland. Thomas Edmondston's uncle, also Thomas Edmondston, was laird of the Buness estate on Unst and host to many scientific visitors to Shetland...

. Although reported from two other sites in the 19th century, it currently grows only on two serpentine hills on the island of Unst. The nationally scarce Oysterplant
Mertensia
Mertensia is a genus of about 40 species of perennial herbaceous plants with bell-shaped blue flowers opening from pink-tinged buds. This is one of several plants commonly called bluebell.The genus is named after the German botanist Franz Carl Mertens....

 is found on several islands and the British Red Listed
IUCN Red List
The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species , founded in 1963, is the world's most comprehensive inventory of the global conservation status of biological species. The International Union for Conservation of Nature is the world's main authority on the conservation status of species...

 bryophyte
Bryophyte
Bryophyte is a traditional name used to refer to all embryophytes that do not have true vascular tissue and are therefore called 'non-vascular plants'. Some bryophytes do have specialized tissues for the transport of water; however since these do not contain lignin, they are not considered to be...

 Thamnobryum alopecurum
Thamnobryum
Thamnobryum is a genus of moss in family Neckeraceae. It contains the following species :* Thamnobryum angustifolium, Crundw.* Thamnobryum fernandesii, Ochyra...

has also been recorded.

Fauna

Shetland has numerous seabird colonies. Birds found on the islands include Atlantic Puffin
Atlantic Puffin
The Atlantic Puffin is a seabird species in the auk family. It is a pelagic bird that feeds primarily by diving for fish, but also eats other sea creatures, such as squid and crustaceans. Its most obvious characteristic during the breeding season is its brightly coloured bill...

, Storm-petrel
Storm-petrel
Storm petrels are seabirds in the family Hydrobatidae, part of the order Procellariiformes. These smallest of seabirds feed on planktonic crustaceans and small fish picked from the surface, typically while hovering. The flight is fluttering and sometimes bat-like.Storm petrels have a cosmopolitan...

, Red-throated Diver
Red-throated Diver
The Red-throated Loon or Red-throated Diver is a migratory aquatic bird found in the northern hemisphere. It breeds primarily in Arctic regions, and winters in northern coastal waters. It is the most widely distributed member of the loon or diver family. Ranging from in length, the Red-throated...

, Northern Gannet
Northern Gannet
The Northern Gannet is a seabird and is the largest member of the gannet family, Sulidae.- Description :Young birds are dark brown in their first year, and gradually acquire more white in subsequent seasons until they reach maturity after five years.Adults are long, weigh and have a wingspan...

 and Bonxie
Great Skua
The Great Skua, Stercorarius skua, is a large seabird in the skua family Stercorariidae. In Britain, it is sometimes known by the name Bonxie, a Shetland name of unknown origin.-Description:...

. Numerous rarities have also been recorded including Black-browed Albatross
Black-browed Albatross
The Black-browed Albatross or Black-browed Mollymawk, Thalassarche melanophrys, is a large seabird of the albatross family Diomedeidae, and it is the most widespread and common albatross.-Taxonomy:...

 and Snow Goose
Snow Goose
The Snow Goose , also known as the Blue Goose, is a North American species of goose. Its name derives from the typically white plumage. The genus of this bird is disputed...

, and a single pair of Snowy Owl
Snowy Owl
The Snowy Owl is a large owl of the typical owl family Strigidae. The Snowy Owl was first classified in 1758 by Carolus Linnaeus, the Swedish naturalist who developed binomial nomenclature to classify and organize plants and animals. The bird is also known in North America as the Arctic Owl, Great...

s bred on Fetlar from 1967 to 1975. The Shetland Wren
Shetland Wren
The Shetland Wren, Troglodytes troglodytes zetlandicus, is a small passerine bird in the wren family. It is a subspecies of the Eurasian Wren endemic to the Shetland archipelago, north-east Scotland, with the exception of Fair Isle which has its own endemic subspecies, the Fair Isle...

, Fair Isle Wren
Fair Isle Wren
The Fair Isle Wren, Troglodytes troglodytes fridariensis, is a small passerine bird in the wren family. It is a subspecies of the Eurasian Wren endemic to Fair Isle, Shetland, Scotland...

 and Shetland Starling are subspecies endemic to Shetland. There are also populations of various moorland birds such as Curlew
Curlew
The curlews , genus Numenius, are a group of eight species of birds, characterised by long, slender, downcurved bills and mottled brown plumage. They are one of the most ancient lineages of scolopacid waders, together with the godwits which look similar but have straight bills...

, Snipe
Snipe
A snipe is any of about 25 wading bird species in three genera in the family Scolopacidae. They are characterized by a very long, slender bill and crypsis plumage. The Gallinago snipes have a nearly worldwide distribution, the Lymnocryptes Jack Snipe is restricted to Asia and Europe and the...

 and Golden Plover
Eurasian Golden Plover
The European Golden Plover is a largish plover. This species is similar to two other golden plovers. American Golden Plover, Pluvialis dominiica, and Pacific Golden Plover, Pluvialis fulva, are both smaller, slimmer and relatively longer-legged than European Golden Plover, and both have grey...

.

The geographical isolation and recent glacial history of Shetland have resulted in a depleted mammalian fauna and the Brown Rat
Brown Rat
The brown rat, common rat, sewer rat, Hanover rat, Norway rat, Brown Norway rat, Norwegian rat, or wharf rat is one of the best known and most common rats....

 and House Mouse
House mouse
The house mouse is a small rodent, a mouse, one of the most numerous species of the genus Mus.As a wild animal the house mouse mainly lives associated with humans, causing damage to crops and stored food....

 are two of only three species of rodent present on the islands. The Shetland Field Mouse is the third and the archipelago's fourth endemic subspecies, of which there are three varieties on Yell, Foula and Fair Isle. They are variants of Apodemus sylvaticus
Wood mouse
The wood mouse is a common murid rodent from Europe and northwestern Africa. It is closely related to the yellow-necked mouse but differs in that it has no band of yellow fur around the neck, has slightly smaller ears, and is usually slightly smaller overall: around 90 mm in length...

and archaeological evidence suggests that this species was present during the Middle Iron Age
Iron Age
The Iron Age is the archaeological period generally occurring after the Bronze Age, marked by the prevalent use of iron. The early period of the age is characterized by the widespread use of iron or steel. The adoption of such material coincided with other changes in society, including differing...

 (around 200 BC to AD 400). It is possible that Apodemus was introduced from Orkney where a population has existed since at the least the Bronze Age
Bronze Age
The Bronze Age is a period characterized by the use of copper and its alloy bronze as the chief hard materials in the manufacture of some implements and weapons. Chronologically, it stands between the Stone Age and Iron Age...

.

Domesticated animals

There are a variety of indigenous breeds, of which the diminutive Shetland Pony
Shetland pony
The Shetland pony is a breed of pony originating in the Shetland Isles. Shetlands range in size from a minimum height of approximately 28 inches to an official maximum height of 42 inches at the withers. Shetland ponies have heavy coats, short legs and are considered quite intelligent...

 is probably the best known as well as being an important part of the Shetland farming tradition. The first written record of the pony was in 1603 in the Court Books of Shetland and, for its size, it is the strongest of all the horse breeds. Others are the Shetland Sheepdog
Shetland Sheepdog
The Shetland Sheepdog, often known as the Sheltie, is a breed of herding dog.They are small to medium dogs, and come in a variety of colors, such as sable/white, tri-color, and blue merle. They are vocal, excitable, energetic dogs who are always willing to please and work hard...

 or "Sheltie", the endangered Shetland Cattle
Shetland cattle
Shetland cattle are a small, hardy cattle breed from the Shetland Isles off the north coast of Scotland. Shetland cattle possess their characteristic genetic qualities of thriftiness, productivity and hardiness, through adaptation and survival in one of the United Kingdom's most rigorous environments...

 and Shetland Goose
Shetland Goose
The Shetland Goose is a breed of domestic geese originating in the Shetland Islands in Scotland. Like the other livestock breeds native to the islands, the Shetland Goose is small in stature, generally weighing between 12 and 14 pounds...

 and the Shetland Sheep
Shetland (sheep)
The Shetland sheep is a small, fine-woolled breed of sheep originating in the Shetland Isles, but now also kept in many other parts of the world. It is one of the Northern European short-tailed sheep group, and is closely related to the extinct Scottish Dunface. Shetlands are classed as a...

 which is believed to have originated prior to 1000 AD. The Grice
Grice
Grice may refer to:*Grice, an extinct breed of pig from Scotland and Ireland-Grice:*Allan Grice, is an Australian former racing driver.*Frank Grice, was an English professional footballer....

 was a breed of semi-domesticated pig that became extinct in 1930. Its habit of attacking lambs cannot have aided its survival.

See also

  • List of domesticated Scottish breeds
  • Mavis Grind
    Mavis Grind
    Mavis Grind is a narrow isthmus joining the Northmavine peninsula to the rest of the island of Shetland Mainland in the Shetland Islands, UK. It is just wide at its narrowest point...

  • Udal law
    Udal Law
    Udal law is a near-defunct Norse derived legal system, which is found in Shetland and Orkney, Scotland and in Manx law at the Isle of Man. It is closely related to Odelsrett....


:Category:Shetland music
  • Hjeltefjorden
    Hjeltefjorden
    Hjeltefjorden is a fjord in Hordaland in Norway. Its name is derived from Hjaltland, the Old Norse name for Shetland - the routes to Shetland ran through Hjeltefjorden. It is a major route into Bergen, and runs from Fedje in the north to Byfjorden in the south...


General references

  • Armit, I. (2003) Towers in the North: The Brochs of Scotland, Stroud. Tempus. ISBN 0752419323
  • Ballin Smith, B. and Banks, I. (eds) (2002) In the Shadow of the Brochs, the Iron Age in Scotland. Stroud. Tempus. ISBN 075242517X
  • Barrett, James H. "The Norse in Scotland" in Brink, Stefan (ed) (2008) The Viking World. Abingdon. Routledge. ISBN 0415333156
  • Clapperton, Chalmers M. (ed.) (1983) Scotland: A New Study. Newton Abbott. David & Charles.
  • Gillen, Con (2003) Geology and landscapes of Scotland. Harpenden. Terra Publishing. ISBN 1903544092
  • Graham-Campbell, James (1999) Cultural Atlas of the Viking World. Facts On File. ISBN 0816030049
  • Fleming, Andrew (2005) St. Kilda and the Wider World: Tales of an Iconic Island. Windgather Press ISBN 1905119003
  • Gammeltoft, Peder (2010) "Shetland and Orkney Island-Names – A Dynamic Group". Northern Lights, Northern Words. Selected Papers from the FRLSU Conference, Kirkwall 2009, edited by Robert McColl Millar.
  • General Register Office for Scotland (28 November 2003) Occasional Paper No 10: Statistics for Inhabited Islands. Retrieved 22 Jan 2011.
  • Hunter, James (2000) Last of the Free: A History of the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. Edinburgh. Mainstream. ISBN 1840183764
  • Jones, Charles (ed.) (1997) The Edinburgh history of the Scots language. Edinburgh University Press. ISBN 0748607544
  • Keay, J. & Keay, J. (1994) Collins Encyclopaedia of Scotland. London. HarperCollins. ISBN 0002550822
  • Noble, Gordon; Poller, Tessa & Verrill, Lucy (2008) Scottish Odysseys: The Archaeology of Islands. Stroud. Tempus. ISBN 9780752441689
  • Omand, Donald (ed.) (2003) The Orkney Book. Edinburgh. Birlinn. ISBN 1841582549
  • Nicolson, James R. (1972) Shetland. Newton Abbott. David & Charles.
  • Sandnes, Berit (2003) From Starafjall to Starling Hill: An investigation of the formation and development of Old Norse place-names in Orkney. (pdf) Doctoral Dissertation, NTU Trondheim.
  • Schei, Liv Kjørsvik (2006) The Shetland Isles. Grantown-on-Spey. Colin Baxter Photography. ISBN 9781841073309
  • Scottish Natural Heritage
    Scottish Natural Heritage
    Scottish Natural Heritage is a Scottish public body. It is responsible for Scotland's natural heritage, especially its natural, genetic and scenic diversity. It advises the Scottish Government and acts as a government agent in the delivery of conservation designations, i.e...

     (2008) The Story of Hermaness National Nature Reserve. Lerwick.
  • Shetland Islands Council (2005) "Shetland In Statistics 2005". (pdf) Economic Development Unit. Lerwick. Retrieved 19 Mar 2011.
  • Shetland Islands Council (2010) "Shetland in Statistics 2010" (pdf) Economic Development Unit. Lerwick. Retrieved 6 March 2011.
  • Thomson, William P. L. (2008) The New History of Orkney. Edinburgh. Birlinn. ISBN 9781841586960
  • Turner, Val (1998) Ancient Shetland. London. B. T. Batsford/Historic Scotland. ISBN 0713480009
  • Watson, William J.
    William J. Watson
    Professor William J. Watson was a toponymist, one of the greatest Scottish scholars of the 20th century, and was the first scholar to place the study of Scottish place names on a firm linguistic basis....

     (1994) The Celtic Place-Names of Scotland. Edinburgh. Birlinn. ISBN 1841583235. First published 1926.


External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
x
OK