Tuesday, 22 May 2012


One of the old Norse traditions which transferred to the Shetlands was the Thing (Þing), or old Norse parliament. These were typically held in a Vollr, or field, and this is the origin of the name Tingwall - field of the thing. The parish of Tingwall, to the west and north west of Lerwick, includes a number of lochs such as the Loch of Tingwall, where the excellent trout prove a draw for anglers. On a slope above the loch, with wonderful views, is the Tingwall Kirk, the second oldest kirk in Shetland still in use, and known as the Mother Church of Shetland. This rather austere, grey building was built around 1790, but in the graveyard is a grassy mound containing a burial vault, which is all that remains of a much earlier church, St Magnus, built in the late 1100s. St Magnus was one of three churches which were given to Shetland by three Norse sisters. The neat and simple interior of Tingwall Kirk includes a handsome wooden gallery and pulpit. Tingwall's diminutive airport offers connections by air to Fair Isle and to the outlying Shetland islands of Foula, Papa Stour and Out Skerries.

Map of the area.

© 2008 Nicholas Mutton, via Wikimedia Commons

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