"AITHSTING, a parish united with Sandsting, in Mainland, the principal of the Shetland-Isles, 15 miles to the N.W. of Lerwick. The islands of Little Papa and Vementry are included in this parish It is hilly and adapted only for pasture land. Fishing and a mall coasting trade form the occupations of the inhabitants. The living is in the presbytery of Lerwick, value £158, in the patronage of the Earl of Zetland. The united parishes contain an area of about 15 square miles."
From The National Gazetteer of of Great Britain and Ireland (1868)
"SANDSTING and AITHSTING, a united parish in the middle of the mainland of Shetland, 13 miles and upwards NW of Lerwick, under which there are post offices at Tresta and Garderhouse. It comprises the islands of Vementry and Papa Little, with a number of smaller islets, and is bounded NE by Delting, E by Tingwall, W by Walls, and on all other sides by the sea.
Its utmost length, from N to S, is 13¼ miles; its utmost breadth, from E to W, is 8½ miles; and its land area is 62¼ square miles, or 39, 870 acres. The coast, which in places is bold and rocky, is deeply indented by Gruting, Skeld, Seli, and Sandsound Voes on the S, and by West Burra Firth, Brindister Voe, and Aith Voe on the N. The surface is everywhere hillocky, and, at no point reaching any noticeable elevation or admitting any considerable extent of plain, attains 297 feet in Vementry, 348 at the Ward of Scollan, 457 near the eastern border, 436 at Sand Field, 355 at the Giant's Grave, and 393 at the Ward of Culswick. A perfect network of fresh-waterlochs is scattered over the interior, their number being estimated at no fewer than 140 in the New Statistical Account. Among the larger are Clousta, Vaara, Hulma, Gossa, Sulma, and Vaxterby Lochs, the last of which lies on the Walls boundary. The rocks include red granite in the W, quartzose gneiss, quartzite, hornblende slate, felspar porphyry, syenitic greenstone, etc. The soil, in a few places sandy, in some clay, and in others a light brown mould, is mostly a deep black moss. The arable land lies mostly along the shore. Antiquities are several standing-stones and sepulchral barrows, three or four Scandinavian brochs, and five pre - Reformation burying-grounds. Reawick is the chief mansion; and 6 proprietors hold each an annual value of between £100 and £500. Sandsting is in the presbytery of Olnafirth and the synod of Shetland; the living is worth £185. The parish church, built in 1780, contains 437 sittings. There are also Baptist and Congregational chapels; and 7 new public schools, with total accommodation for 442 children, had (1884) an average attendance of 284, and grants amounting to £290, 8s. Valuation (1860) £1617, (1884) £2678, 5s. 3d. Pop. (1801) 1493, (1831) 2194, (1861) 2670, (1871) 2806, (1881) 2702, of whom 1640 were females."
Description from Frances Groome's Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland, 1882-4.