DUNROSSNESS - Extract from National Gazetteer, 1868


The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland - 1868

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

"DUNROSSNESS, a parish in the South Shetland Islands, Scotland, situated near Fitful Head and Sumburgh Head Light. It is in the presbytery of Lerwick, and synod of Orkney. The minister's stipend is £208, in the patronage of the Earl of Zetland. The parish comprises besides Dunrossness, Sandwick, Coningsburgh, and Fair Isle in Queendale Bay, where the admiral of the Spanish Armada was wrecked in 1589. There is a parish church, a Free church, Wesleyan and Methodist chapels, and schools. The soil is extremely barren, consisting of sandstone covered with moss. In some places iron-ore, copper, lead, and manganese have been discovered, but are not worked. In winter the lakes are frequented by swans, and eagles find shelter in the rocks. Many of the inhabitants are engaged in the fisheries, or in snaring wild-fowl."

"BOUSTA, a hamlet in the parish of Dunrossness, Mainland, Shetland Islands. It is seated on the west side of the island, on the coast of St. Magnus' Bay."

"FAIR, one of the Shetland Isles, in the parish of Dunrossness, Scotland. It lies 29 miles S.W. of Sumburgh Head, halfway between the islands of Orkney and Shetland. It is 3 miles long by 2 broad. The surface is chiefly hilly pasture, with a dangerous rocky coast. The Sheep Craig is 480 feet above the sea. At Stromceiler Creek, the admiral of the Spanish Armada was wrecked in 1588. The island is inhabited on the S. side only, chiefly by fishing families. "Trowie glove" sponges and copper ore are found here. The parish minister generally visits the island for two weeks in the year."

"FITFUL HEAD, in the parish of Dunrossness, South Shetland, Scotland. It forms the N.W. side of Quendal Bay, 6 miles N.W. of Sumburgh Head. Clay-slate and iron ore enter largely into its composition. It rises 400 feet from the sea-level. It is the subject of some lines in the "Pirate.""

"MOUSA, an island in the parish of Dunrossness, Shetland Islands, Scotland, 10 miles S. by W. of Lerwick. It is situated on the E. side of Mainland, near the coast of Sandwick, and extends in length from N. to S. 2 miles by about 1; mile in breadth; it is chiefly in sheepwalks, and has but two houses. On the island is an interesting Scandinavian fortress, called the Burgh of Mousa, built of unhewn blocks of schistose stone, fitted together without cement. It is about 42 feet high, and about 50 feet in diameter at the base, bulging out below, and tapering off towards the top. The only entrance is by a low, narrow doorway opening into a passage 15 feet deep, which communicates with the open area in the centre."

"CUNNINGSBURGH, a parish in the mainland of Shetland, Scotland. It is situated to the S. of the parish of Lerwick, and is included quoad sacra in Dunrossness."

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