Jarlshof Prehistoric and Norse Settlement
The name Jarlshof originates from the Old House of Sumburg, constructed in the seventeenth century and named in the novel “The Pirate”, by Sir Walter Scott. And so the three-acre site became known as the Jarlshof Prehistoric and Norse Settlement. This is an extremely unique attraction in Scotland, as it is a visual display of history. An exhibit that you can see, touch and experience, and be drawn back into the times of Norse warriors, the Bronze Age, Middle Ages and Iron Ages. It has been estimated that this site has been home to many inhabitants for over 4 200 years and through untimely storms that eroded the sand that protected this site, a window into the past was opened.
Visitors to the Jarlshof Prehistoric and Norse Settlement must be
prepared to devote a relatively long amount of time to the viewing of all the
settlements and wheelhouses, as guides are required to lift gates to
access and some areas have quite narrow entrances. Jarlshof is an
and very significant archaeological site in Scotland
excavations to the area started before the outbreak of World War II.
Excavations have revealed that the Shetland region was occupied as far back as 2500BC.
The Bronze Age is represented through the oval house of a bronze smith.
clay moulds for swords and axe heads that were found, are confirmation
the smiths’ existence, as are the other oval houses that were
This beautifully preserved archaeological site in Scotland has also
revealed the presence of the troubled Iron Age, with the excavation of
brochs, which were constructed as wheelhouses. There are also
visible and the wheelhouses are dated back to approximately 200 – 600
is believed, that the Norse settlements at Jarlshof remained here for
than 400 years and the artifacts that were discovered here gave
archaeologists insights into the daily activities of the Norse people.
recovered have included fishing equipment, board games and revealed
of cloth weaving and wool spinning.
The site also has an interpretation center, where visitors are able
learn more about the daily lives of the people that constructed the
and how they went about their daily activities. There are also
displayed here, and visitors will be able to gain knowledge and hear
stories of these turbulent times and the clues that were left behind,