Site Overview

Could Shetland's earliest document refer to the Papa Stour stofa?

There have been two late Norse buildings excavated in Shetland which survive well today. One is in Unst, and the other is at Da Biggins, Papa Stour.

This was the site of a stofa: a building-style originating in Scandinavia in the later Norse period. It was built using logs which had notched corners to fit them together. The logs must have been imported from Norway.

Stofas became a feature of the wealthier farms from the 11th century, additional to the Viking longhouse or "skali".

Following excavation, a partial replica was created on the actual footprint of the original. Shetland’s earliest document, dating to 1299, referred to a stofa in Papa Stour so it is possible that this was the site referred to. (The other known contender is an unexcavated, apparently very rich, site at North House in the island.)

LoadingPlease Wait

SHARE ON