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Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Our Shetland Adventure II

Shetland is a great place for island-hopping, and one of our most memorable trips was a visit to Unst, where there were lots of friendly Shetland ponies waiting to greet us. When all females, and boys under ten years old were banned from working in Britain's mines in 1842, Shetland ponies were often used instead to haul coal wagons underground.

On mainland Shetland, we explored the ancient settlements of Jarlshof and Old Scatness. Jarlshof was occupied for thousands of years: Bronze Age and Iron Age people, Vikings and Picts, and there was a manor house built by Robert Stewart, 1st Earl of Orkney. 

Not far from Jarlshof is Old Scatness, a Bronze Age village discovered when a new road was being built to Sumburgh airport. Costumed (and extremely knowledgeable) guides help interpret this wonderful site for visitors, which contains one of the massive brochs so prevalent on Shetland.

They must have been of major importance for the peoples who inhabited these islands long, long ago.

Images: Shetland ponies © Nigel Wilkes

Jarlshof and Old Scatness © Sue Wilkes.

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