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Unst Heritage Centre

Located at Haroldswick in the north of the Shetland island of Unst, Unst Heritage Centre is Britain's most northerly museum. Occupying the former Haroldswick Primary School, the centre interprets the history, geology and archaeology of the island through a collection of artefacts and items donated by local people. A number of displays illustrate life and work on the island, with a range of local occupations including crofting, quarrying, fishing, fish farming and also RAF Saxa Vord, which for more than fifty years was the area's most significant employer playing a role in the defence of the British Isles. The Centre includes material from several archaeological digs which have taken place on this island, including the investigation of an Iron Age site at Sandwick and Viking settlements at Belmont, Underhoull and Hamer. Other themes explored include education, religion and textile manufacture, involving spinning, knitting and the making of Unst lace.

The Centre has its origins in a display mounted in the village hall in the 1980s. This exhibition later occupied a former shop and now the old school which dates from 1880 but closed in 1997. The building was bought by Shetland Amenity Trust and leased back to enthusiastic volunteers. The Centre is managed by the Unst Heritage Trust, who also operate the nearby Unst Boat Haven.


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