Scheduled Monument

Muness CastleSM90224

Status: Designated


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


Date Added
Last Date Amended
Secular: castle; garden
Local Authority
Shetland Islands
HP 62935 1141
462935, 1201141


The monument comprises a castle built at the end of the 16th century. It is in the care of the Secretary of State for Scotland and is being re-scheduled to clarify the extent of the protected area.

The monument lies in grassland, at around 10m OD. It comprises Muness Castle, constructed in 1598 by Laurence Bruce, foud, sheriff-depute and chamberlain of the lordship lands of Shetland. It consists of an oblong building measuring about 22m NW-SE by about 8m transversely, with a circular tower attached to the N and S corners respectively and corbelled turrets to the other two corners. The main block of the castle comprised a first-floor hall between chambers leading into closets within the rounds, set above vaulted cellarage including a kitchen and below a further suite of chambers within an attic storey. To the SW of the castle earthworks betray the former existence of a south-facing garden. Remains of ancillary buildings may be expected to survive beneath the topsoil in the immediate surrounding area.

The area proposed for scheduling comprises the remains described, the wall immediately surrounding the castle and an area to the S and W within which related material may be expected to be found. It is irregular on plan, with maximum dimensions of 83m NE-SW by 55m NW-SE.

Statement of National Importance

The monument is of national importance because of what it contributes to our understanding of late 16th to early 17th century domestic and defensive architecture. Its significance is further enhanced by the role that its builder, Laurence Bruce, played in the political history of Shetland during the time of the Stewart earls of Orkney and by the potential that its below-ground remains have for shedding light on the material culture of the period. Its importance is reflected in its status as a Property in Care of the Secretary of State for Scotland.



RCAHMS records the monument as HP60SW 2.

Historic Environment Scotland Properties

Muness Castle

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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 showing the scheduled area is the legal part of the scheduling. The statement of national importance and additional information provided are supplementary. 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: 25/06/2019 02:29