Linga, Bluemull Sound

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Gaelic nameUnknown
Norse nameLyngey
Meaning of nameHeather Island
Linga from the north
Linga from the north
Linga is located in Shetland
Linga shown within Shetland
OS grid referenceHU557986
Coordinates60°40′N 1°00′W / 60.66°N 1.0°W / 60.66; -1.0
Physical geography
Island groupShetland
Area45 ha (111 acres)
Area rank210= [1]
Highest elevation26 m (85 ft)
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Council areaShetland

Linga is a very small uninhabited island in the Bluemull Sound, Shetland, Scotland. It is one of many islands in Shetland called Linga. It has an area of 45 ha and is 26m at its highest point.

Geography and geology[edit]

Linga is made up of "coarse mica-schist and gneiss".[2]

It is situated off the east coast of Yell, near the village of Gutcher, and has an area of 111 acres (0.45 km2). It is separated from Yell by Linga Sound, and Unst is to the north east. Sound Gruney, Urie Lingey are to the south east, and Hascosay to the south.

There is little freshwater on the island.


A hut in the north of the island.

It is said that Jan Tait of Fetlar once kept a bear on the island, and this is commemorated in the placename - "Bear's Bait". It was said to be from Norway, where he had been taken for trial for murder, but he was pardoned for capturing this particular bear, which had been causing problems over there.[2]

An abandoned chapel is located on the island. An unknown duke once planned to build a large house there after buying land on it. However this was cancelled as doctors and other services refused to provide a service to such a small remote island.

On 19 July 1923, the SS Jane ran aground on the island.[5] The 840 ton ship, carrying herring from Baltasound, Unst to Lerwick, later sank into 20m of water just off the island.

There is also the remains of a sheep fold in the north.


Surprisingly for an island whose name derives from the Norse for "heather isle", very little grows here.

Otters, guillemots and seals breed on the island.


  1. ^ Area and population ranks: there are c. 300 islands over 20 ha in extent and 93 permanently inhabited islands were listed in the 2011 census.
  2. ^ a b c Haswell-Smith, Hamish (2004). The Scottish Islands. Edinburgh: Canongate. ISBN 978-1-84195-454-7.
  3. ^ Iain Mac an Tailleir. "Placenames" (PDF). Pàrlamaid na h-Alba. Archived from the original (PDF) on 26 September 2011. Retrieved 23 July 2007.
  4. ^ "Get-a-map" Ordnance Survey
  5. ^ "Further afield". MV Valkyrie. Retrieved 31 October 2010.

Coordinates: 60°40′N 0°59′W / 60.667°N 0.983°W / 60.667; -0.983