Photos and the City

Slow travel & photography

A stop and wark around Sandydale Temple in Shetland.

I made one last stop before boarding the ferry to Yell – at the neolithic Stanydale settlement and enjoyed a little walk and lunch break. Visiting the house and surrounding buildings of a probably important person.

A stop and wark around Sandydale Temple in Shetland.

It is not known what the purpose of Stanydale Temple was, similar buildings were found in Malta. It might have been a village hall, a courtroom or the chieftan’s hall built between 4000 to 5000 years ago. It is very similar to Neolithic houses and burial cairns in Shetland, but it is twice the size and probably had a timber roof.

A stop and wark around Sandydale Temple in Shetland.

Besides the large hall, there are also two smaller stone houses and about 30 mounds of stone. It was also occupied during the Bronze Age and the Iron Age – up to around 400BC.

A stop and wark around Sandydale Temple in Shetland.A stop and wark around Sandydale Temple in Shetland.A stop and wark around Sandydale Temple in Shetland.

An Oystercatcher (?) in full flight.

A stop and wark around Sandydale Temple in Shetland.

Yell

A short ferry ride later I arrived in Yell and went straight to my little hut with a view of the ferry to Unst.

A stop and wark around Sandydale Temple in Shetland. A stop and wark around Sandydale Temple in Shetland.

View over Tingwall, the old norse parliament in Shetland, Scotland.

Tingwall derives from the Old Norse Þingvöllr (field of the thing), a thing or ping was the word for a Norse parliament. It is situated in Loch Tingwall and the former mould is still visible. This mould, Tingaholm, was created with handfuls of earth from all members of different districts. Built like this every man taking part in the parliament was able to say he was standing on home ground. The men wet with the Earl on an annual basis.

View over Tingwall, the old norse parliament in Shetland, Scotland.

Tingaholm was once surrounded by water and the only access was via a stone causeway.

Although we have documents relating to meetings in Tingwall from 1307 onwards, the only reference to the thing meeting on the holm comes from a letter dated 1532. (thingsites.com)

In the 1570s Earl Robert Stewart moved the thing to Scalloway, but Tingaholmwas used at least once more

in 1577 when over 700 Shetlanders came to make complaints against the local Foud, Lawrence Bruce, to royal commissioners from Edinburgh. (thingsites.com)

View over Tingwall, the old norse parliament in Shetland, Scotland.

View over Tingwall, the old norse parliament in Shetland, Scotland.View over Tingwall, the old norse parliament in Shetland, Scotland.