Scheduled Monument

Burra Ness, broch, YellSM2063

Status: Designated


Where documents include maps, the use of this data is subject to terms and conditions (

The legal document available for download below constitutes the formal designation of the monument under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979. The additional details provided on this page are provided for information purposes only and do not form part of the designation. Historic Environment Scotland accepts no liability for any loss or damages arising from reliance on any inaccuracies within this additional information.


Date Added
Last Date Amended
Prehistoric domestic and defensive: broch
Local Authority
Shetland Islands
HU 55719 95716
455719, 1195716


The monument comprises the remains of a broch flanked by defensive ramparts and with traces of early agricultural land-use nearby. The broch alone was scheduled in 1934, and this proposal extends protection to the surrounding remains.

The broch is set at the NE end of Burra Ness, on a slight rise overlooking the sea, which may have encroached slightly since the middle Iron Age. On the seaward side the lichen-covered remains of the broch tower still stand over 3m tall. On the S and W sides the height of the broch wall is reduced, and a cell can be seem within the wall thickness. The broch stands on a low artificial platform, and this has been built onto and into by later structures, which survive as low grass-covered banks. To the S and SW of the broch are much-reduced earthen ramparts. To the S is a ruined croft, outside the scheduled area. This seems to have been accompanied by only limited arable agriculture, and near to the broch, on the W side, are several small cairns of field-cleared stones which clearly have two phases of accumulation, with recent and fresh-looking (croft-related) stones piled on top of much older, turf-covered (presumably Iron Age) cairns.

The area now to be scheduled consists of the NE tip of the promontory. On the N and E sides the edge of this area is formed by the high water mark of the sea, and on the S and W by straight lines running E-W and N-S respectively. It measures a maximum of 95m N-S by 80m, to include the broch, its outer works and the nearer of the small cairns together with ground between and around these remains in which further evidence of their construction and use is likely to survive, as shown in red on the accompanying map extract.



No Bibliography entries for this designation

About Scheduled Monuments

Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for designating sites and places at the national level. These designations are Scheduled monuments, Listed buildings, Inventory of gardens and designed landscapes and Inventory of historic battlefields.

We make recommendations to the Scottish Government about historic marine protected areas, and the Scottish Ministers decide whether to designate.

Scheduling is the process that identifies, designates and provides statutory protection for monuments and archaeological sites of national importance as set out in the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979.

We schedule sites and monuments that are found to be of national importance using the selection guidance published in Designation Policy and Selection Guidance (2019)

Scheduled monument records provide an indication of the national importance of the scheduled monument which has been identified by the description and map. The description and map (see ‘legal documents’ above) showing the scheduled area is the designation of the monument under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979. The statement of national importance and additional information provided are supplementary and provided for general information purposes only. Historic Environment Scotland accepts no liability for any loss or damages arising from reliance on any inaccuracies within the statement of national importance or additional information. These records are not definitive historical or archaeological accounts or a complete description of the monument(s).

The format of scheduled monument records has changed over time. Earlier records will usually be brief. Some information will not have been recorded and the map will not be to current standards. Even if what is described and what is mapped has changed, the monument is still scheduled.

Scheduled monument consent is required to carry out certain work, including repairs, to scheduled monuments. Applications for scheduled monument consent are made to us. We are happy to discuss your proposals with you before you apply and we do not charge for advice or consent. More information about consent and how to apply for it can be found on our website at

Find out more about scheduling and our other designations at You can contact us on 0131 668 8914 or at


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Printed: 02/04/2023 07:02