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Dunrossness Baptist Church

Dunrossness, (Old Norse: Dynrastarnes meaning "headland of the loud tide-race", referring to the noise of Sumburgh Roost) is the southernmost parish of Shetland, Scotland. Historically the name Dunrossness has usually referred to the area on the Shetland mainland south of Quarff.[1] However, in 2016 there were three separate Shetland Community Councils for a) Gulberwick, Quarff and Cunningsburgh; b) Sandwick; and c) Dunrossness.[2] The 2011 census defined Dunrossness as including everybody within the British ZE2 postal code, which goes as far north as Gulberwick. It has the best and largest area of fertile farmland of any parish in Shetland.[3] Dunrossness includes the island of Mousa, Levenwick, St Ninian's Isle, Bigton, Scousburgh, the Lochs of Spiggie and Brow, Boddam, Quendale, Virkie, Exnaboe, Grutness, Toab, Ness of Burgi, Clumlie Broch, Scatness, Sumburgh Airport, Sumburgh Head, West Voe, the islands of Lady's Holm, Little Holm, Horse Holm island and Fair Isle.[1]

Dunrossness is associated with a number of eminent people, such as Haldane Burgess, George Stewart,[4] Sir Herbert J.C. Grierson,[5] Jenny Gilbertson, Elizabeth Balneaves as well as that symbol of providence Betty Mouat. The author Sir Walter Scott visited Dunrossness in 1814 and wrote the novel The Pirate, which is set mostly in the Parish.[6] Robert Stevenson built Shetland's first lighthouse at Sumburgh Head in 1821,[6] and his son Thomas Stevenson and his grandson, the author Robert Louis Stevenson, visited the Shetland lighthouses and Fair Isle in 1870.[7]

Dunrossness had 1,505 sites of archeological interest in 2016, 181 of them scheduled (i.e. nationally important).[3] For example, Jarlshof, perhaps the best known prehistoric archaeological site in Shetland and Old Scatness (which has mediaeval, Viking, Pictish, and Iron Age remains) both lie within the parish of Dunrossness.[8]


  1. ^ a b Irvine (2001, p. 1)
  2. ^ "Shetland Islands Council Committee Information - Community Councils". Shetland Island Council. Retrieved 2016-05-24.
  3. ^ a b "Dunrossness Community Council Area Statement" (PDF). Shetland local plan. Shetland Islands Council. Retrieved 2016-05-22.
  4. ^ Irvine (2001, p. 196)
  5. ^ Irvine (2001, p. 198)
  6. ^ a b Irvine (2001, p. 82)
  7. ^ Irvine (2001, p. 209)
  8. ^ Irvine (1983, p. 27)
  • Irvine, James W. (2001). The Dunrossness Story. Lerwick, Shetland, U.K.: A. Irvine Printing. ISBN 0 9522638 9 0.
  • Irvine, James W. (1983). Guide to Dunrossness & Fair Isle. Lerwick, Shetland, U.K.: Dunrossness Community Council.


Coordinates: 59°56′17″N 1°18′14″W / 59.93806°N 1.30389°W / 59.93806; -1.30389