Photos and the City

Slow travel & photography

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.

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