Orkney & Shetland 2019 - Day 20
Shetland: South to Sumburgh Head
The southern point of Shetland is the high headland of Sumburgh Head. It is a reknowned bird nesting sanctuary. On our way south we stopped to visit the restored water mill at Queandale and the Croft House Museum.
Quendale Water Mill
Grain crops were a staple part of the work of crofters. They grew barley and oats and also a type of barley known as "bere". The grain needed to be ground to flour, this was often done by hand but a better quality flour was obtained by using a large mill. There were once many water-powered mills cross Shetland but today the mill at Qieandale is the only one remaining. Iy has been fully restored to working condition.
Jarlshof Pre-historic settlement
Near the southern end of the island, and in the grounds of the Sumburgh Hotel lies the archaeological site of jarlshof. Although known by its Viking name, it actually has remains dating from 2500BC right up to the 17th Century AD. The day we visited the Visitor Centre was closed (no explanation why) so we bought the guide book from the hotel (where you pay the entrance fee) and walked around. Despite the bright sunshine the wind was biting cold on the exposed site.
Croft House Museum
Close to the water mill at Dunrossness is a croft house. It was occupied until 1963 and has been preserved just as it was at that time. It contains several box beds and a range of spinning and knitting equipment. It was heated with a peat fire that was burning slowly when we visited.
Sumburgh Head Bird Sanctuary
Sumburgh Head lies at the southern end of Shetland, looking out over the meeting of the North Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. Its cliffs are home to thousands of birds mostly guillimots, kittiwakes and puffins. On the day of our visit nearly all the puffins were out at sea fishing.
Last updated: 20/02/2019