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BRESSAY - Extract from National Gazetteer, 1868

[Description(s) from The National Gazetteer (1868)]

"BRESSAY, an island parish in the Shetland Islands, Scotland, situated E. of the mainland, and opposite to Lerwick, its post town. It comprises the islands of Bressay, Burra, Quarff, and Noss. The island of Bressay, about 5 miles long by 3 broad, is separated from the mainland by Bressay Sound, a spacious sheltered bay and harbour, with excellent anchorage, the resort of many vessels engaged in the whale and herring fisheries. In 1653 a fleet of 94 sail, under the command of Deans and Monk, and in 1665, another fleet of 92 men-of-war, under the Earl of Sandwich, found shelter in this bay, which is nearly landlocked. It has two entrances, one from the north, the other from the south. Outside the north entrance there is a sunken rock, called the Unicorn.

The surface of the island is irregular and rocky, yielding, however, some good pasturage. Fishing is the principal occupation of the inhabitants, and some are employed in quarrying slate, which is abundant. The small and fertile island of Noss lies on the E. side of Bressay, with which it is connected by a rope bridge. The living, worth £153, is in the presbytery of Lerwick, and in the gift of the Earl of Zetland. There are established churches in Quarff and Burra, served by a minister with a stipend of £120. The parish contains also a Wesleyan, an Independent, and a Baptist chapel."

"BURRA, (or Burray), a quoad sacra parish joined to Quarff, in the parish of Bressay, Shetland Islands, Scotland, comprising the islands of East Burra, West Burra, Halvera, or Haveray, and Papa.

[Description(s) from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland (1868)
Transcribed by Colin Hinson ©2003]