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For other uses, see Burra (disambiguation).
Not to be confused with Burray.
The bridge connecting East and West Burra

Burra (Old Norse: Barrey [1]) is the collective name for two of the Shetland Islands, West (pop. 753) and East Burra (pop. 66), which are connected by bridge to one another, and to the Shetland Mainland via Trondra. They form part of the Scalloway Islands

Collins Encyclopedia of Scotland suggests that the name is a corruption of "Borgarey" (island of the broch),[2] and while this is unlikely, and no broch is extant, the place name Brough, on West Burra lends some support to this case. However, the form used in the Orkneyinga saga is "Barrey".


  1. ^ Anderson, Joseph (ed.) (1873) The Orkneyinga Saga. Translated by Jón A. Hjaltalin & Gilbert Goudie. Edinburgh. Edmonston and Douglas. The Internet Archive. Retrieved 26 August 2013.
  2. ^ Keay, J. & Keay, J. (1994) Collins Encyclopaedia of Scotland. London. HarperCollins.