There are the remains of at least 60 longhouses to be found in Unst, the highest density of rural Viking sites anywhere, including Scandinavia.
Unst is closer to Norway than to Edinburgh and probably was the first footfall for the Old Norse in the Atlantic.
I started to make my way back down south again and stopped at a Viking Longhouse, I already had seen on my way up. There are the remains of at least 60 longhouses to be found in Unst, the highest density of rural Viking sites anywhere, including Scandinavia.
Unst is closer to Norway than to Edinburgh and probably was the first foot-fall for the old Norse in the Atlantic.
This reconstruction of a Viking longhouse in Harlodswick was modelled after the remains of the longhouses in Hamar, Underhoull and Belmont.
The house is bigger than expected and felt almost cosy.
Right next to the longhouse stands the reconstruction of a Viking boat.
The Skidbladner is a full size replica of the Gokstad ship, found in a Viking burial mound in norway in 1880. (Shetland Amenity Trust)
The original boat was probably built during the reign of Harald Fairhar, who is said to have landed in Unst. These types of boats were used for trade, warfare and also just general travel.
St. John´s Church
St John’s was originally built from 1825 to 1827, back then Baltasound grew up to 10.000 people in the summer for the herring season and the wast church offered space for 2000 of them. The original foundations are still visible around today’s church which was built in 1957.
I travelled west towards a broch and another longhouse in Underhoull. Admiring the amazing views over the cliffs and sea this must have been a spectacular space to live.
I first wandered around the broch and enjoyed the views in all directions.
Right next to the broch, just in the next field lie the remains of a longhouse and second one nearby.
Excavation of the Upper Underhoull longhouse revealed some exciting information. The site appeared to have been occupied for a long period of time, and modified, with outhouses, annexes and drains added during different phases of its development. There was a double faced stone wall on the southern, long-wall of the house, which faced the sea, and would have been built to impress. The ‘back wall’ was turf built on the northern side, and would have provided good insulation. (Shetland Aminity Trust)
There was a wooden floor and a central fire.