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Shetland Main Page

Historic County of Scotland

This is the Umbrella project for Shetland

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// to People Connected to Shetland //

Shetland - Famous People
Historic Buildings of Shetland
Historic Shetland
Shetland Islands - Foula
ShetlandMonumental Inscriptions, Cemeteries and Graveyards
People Connected to Shetland Still to come
Shetland Burials
Shetland Genealogical Resources

  • Administrative centre Lerwick is the capital and main port of the Shetland Islands, once a centre of the Herring Industry.
  • Chapman County Code - SHI
  • Gaelic Name Sealtainn
  • Motto The islands' motto, which appears on the Council's coat of arms, is Með lögum skal land byggja. This phrase is taken from Njáls saga and means "By law shall the land be built up"
  • Famous for:
  • Fair Isle knitting
  • Shetland Ponies
  • Shetland Wool
    * Landmarks and Places of Interest
  • Muness Castle
  • Scalloway Castle
  • Dore Holm with its natural arch
  • Sumburgh is the ruin of Jarlshoff, once a residence of Lord Robert Stewart, and rendered famous in Sir Walter Scott's novel The Pirate.
    * Area 551 sq. miles (1427 sq. km)

Shetland (also Zetland) is an insular county and ancient earldom in the far north of Scotland lying between the North Sea and the Atlantic Ocean.

The land of Shetland is generally bleak and moorish, and rises to a maximum alt. of 1475 ft., but only in a few places higher than 500 ft.

Shetland cannot be regarded strictly as a Scottish county until the seventeenth century when various County Acts were passed for the better government of the islands. These lasted till 1747, when heritable jurisdiction was abolished and the judicial administration of Shetland was assimilated to the general Scottish system.

Shetland has the same Lord-Lieutenant as Orkney, but separate Deputy Lieutenants and Justices of the Peace. It shares a Sheriff-Principal with Orkney and Caithness, but has a Sheriff-Substitute of its own.

Shetland Parishes

  • Bressay
  • Delting
  • Dunrossness
  • Fetlar
  • Lerwick
  • Nesting
  • Northmavine
  • Sandsting
  • Tingwall
  • Unst
  • Walls
  • Yell

Ecclesiastically the parishes are divided into three presbyteries, Lerwick, Burravoe and Olnafirth, which make up the Synod of Shetland. Reference: T Mainland (1920)

Islands of Shetland

Shetland Areas

Shetland it consists of about 100 - 300 islands and skerries (small rocky island,) with only 16 inhabited.

There are four islands joined to the Shetland Mainland by bridges, East Burra, West Burra, Trondra, and Muckle Roe. There is also a bridge from Housay to Bruray.



  1. Unst
  2. Yell
  3. Fetlar
  4. Out Skerries
  5. Northmavine
  6. Nesting, Lunnasting & Delting
  7. Whalsay
  8. Papa Stour
  9. West Mainland
  10. Central Mainland
  11. Lerwick
  12. Bressay
  13. South Mainland
  14. Foula
  15. Fair Isle

Shetland Parishes and Islands


See a Full Size version of this map and use the magnifier tool.

There are so many islands and places that not all can be shown on the above map. Those from the list below that are on the map have been marked bold

The Scalloway Islands are a small archipelago at the entrance to Weisdale Voe in the South West. The North Isles is the name given to the group including Yell, Unst and Fetlar.

  • Balta
  • Bigga
  • Bressay
  • Brother Isle
  • Bruray
  • Delting
  • Dunrossness
  • East Burra
  • Fair Isle
  • Fetlar
  • Foula GENi Project
  • Hascosay
  • Hildasay
  • Housay
  • Lamba
  • Lerwick
  • Linga
  • Lunnasting
  • Mainland
  • Mousa
  • Muckle Roe
  • Nesting
  • Northmavine
  • Noss
  • Oxna
  • Papa
  • Papa Little
  • Papa Stour
  • Quarff
  • Samphrey
  • Sandness and Walls
  • Sandsting and Aithsting
  • South Havra
  • Tingwall
  • Trondra
  • Unst
  • Uyea,
  • Vaila
  • Vementry
  • West Burra
  • West Linga
  • Walls and Sandness
  • Whalsay
  • Whiteness and Weesdale
  • Yell - North, Mid and South

See for lists of other Shetland islands

If you have Shetland connections please join the project.

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