Came of Isbister

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Kame of Isbister, in the background Yell
Seaside view

The Kame of Isbister is an uninhabited peninsula in the north of Mainland , the main island of about Scotland scoring Shetlands . Its area is around 95 by 55 meters, the highest point is around 38 meters. On the landward side are the village of Isbister , a good one kilometer to the southwest, as well as the 128 meter high Lanchestoo in the west, seaward in the east of the Yell Sound . The subsoil consists of mica slate and has a clay floor . The Kame of Isbister is located in the community (Community Council Area) Northmavine .

The access is shaped by cliffs, a path running along the connecting ridge fell victim to coastal erosion in 1930 . On the side facing the sea there is a sloping area, which is covered with grass in the upper part. Here are the overgrown foundations of a settlement whose original name is not known. They are listed as a Scheduled Monument .

In the summer of 1876, theology student George Cockburn visited the complex at the request of George Gordon, a corresponding member of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland . He counted 23 buildings and found similarities in the ground plan to those of fishing settlements such as in the nearby Fedeland . A smaller excavation he carried out revealed remains of ash, stones with scorch marks and a piece of metal, possibly a nail. Gordon suspected that it was a facility from the Pictish times .

In 2003 another excavation was carried out in the settlement. At that time, 19 buildings were still in existence, the rest of them probably fell into the sea as a result of progressive erosion. The investigated material brought about a time position in about the year 860 via a radiocarbon dating, which in the Shetlands means the late Pict and at the same time the northern man times. The difficult accessibility that existed at the time and the lack of suitable landing stages for boats exclude Vikings as residents, as do fishermen. Since the presence of Irish monks on the Shetlands has been proven for the 7th and 8th centuries , according to the state of research the complex is regarded as a monastic community of representatives of the Irish Scottish Church . This is especially true because they chose secluded places for their monasteries, which they, if not already present, as here due to the natural conditions, explicitly shielded them from the outside world with a Vallum monasterii .


  • George Gordon: Notice of incised sculpturings on the steatite rock at Feideland, the extreme north of the mainland of Shetland, and of a cluster of ruined structures styled Picts houses on the Kaim of Isbister, Shetland. Proceedings of The Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, Vol. 12, 1876-78, pp. 202-206. Digitized version , PDF file, 616 kB, accessed on July 9, 2018 (English)

Web links

Commons : Kame of Isbister  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Kame of Isbister on, accessed on July 8, 2018 (English)

Coordinates: 60 ° 36 ′ 18 ″  N , 1 ° 18 ′ 16.1 ″  W.