Architecture in Shetland

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  • Broch of Clickimin
    Broch of Clickimin
  • Mousa Broch, Mousa
    Mousa Broch, Mousa
  • Shetland Crofthouse Museum, Mainland
    Shetland Crofthouse Museum, Mainland
  • Shetland Museum and Archives, Lerwick
    Shetland Museum and Archives, Lerwick
  • Sumburgh Head and lighthouse, Mainland
    Sumburgh Head and lighthouse, Mainland

Shetland’s remarkable architectural heritage spans thousands of years. See everything from prehistoric structures like the magnificent Mousa Broch to the imposing Fort Charlotte and contemporary, state-of-the-art buildings like Mareel.

Crumbling castles, beautifully restored historic homes, traditional crofthouses and more can all be found amongst Shetland’s architectural attractions.

Shetland enjoys a wealth of archaeological treasures. The most impressive of these is Mousa Broch, an immense Iron Age stone tower, but there are scores of others including the Clickimin Broch and the ancient settlements of Jarlshof, Old Scatness and Staneydale Temple.

Explore the atmospheric ruins of Muness Castle, the northernmost castle in the British Isles, and Scalloway Castle, built by the notorious Earl of Orkney. The imposing Fort Charlotte, built by George III, offers a fascinating insight into 18th century military life.

See how ordinary Shetlanders once lived inside an authentically recreated crofthouse at the Shetland Crofthouse Museum, and find accommodation in carefully restored homes including Belmont House and Busta House.

Shetland’s main town Lerwick boasts many fine examples of Victorian architecture, including its splendid town hall, while its historic waterfront is home to two of Shetland’s most innovative, contemporary buildings, the award-winning Shetland Museum and Archives and Mareel, the UK’s most northerly creative arts centre.

Lighthouses are an intrinsic feature of Shetland’s architectural landscape, four of which were built by master lighthouse designers and siblings David and Thomas Stevenson. The oldest and perhaps the most well known of these is Sumburgh Head Lighthouse, located on the southernmost tip of the Mainland.

In Shetland discover a place where ancient ruins dating back thousands of years are found alongside cutting-edge modern buildings, and witness the fascinating evolution of the islands’ architecture through the ages.

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