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Fetlar

A historical perspective, drawn from the Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland: A Survey of Scottish Topography, Statistical, Biographical and Historical, edited by Francis H. Groome and originally published in parts by Thomas C. Jack, Grange Publishing Works, Edinburgh between 1882 and 1885.

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Fetlar, an island and a civil parish in the N of Shetland. The island lies 3 miles E of Yell, 4 S of Unst, and 33 N by E of Lerwick, under which it has a post office. Its greatest length, from NW to SE, is 6½ miles; its greatest breadth is 2¾ miles; and its area is estimated at 5500 acres. The outline is rendered so irregular by numerous headlands and sea inlets as to give a large extent of sea coast. The principal bays or sea inlets are Tresta, with a sandy beach; Aith, with a pebbly beach; Funzie, used as a ling fishing station; Gruting, with a pebbly beach; Urie, with a rude pier; Sand, of small extent and sandy; and Mowick, used for the transporting of peats from an inland hill by sea to the other bays of the island. The interior comprises several hills and vales, but nowhere exceeds 300 feet above sea-level. The rocks comprise gneiss, syenite, granite, quartzite, syenitic greenstone, mica slate, chlorite slate, clay slate, serpentine, and diallage rock. Bog iron ore, of a very rich quality, occurs in peat moss; chromate of iron is found in the serpentine rock; and some veins of copper ore have been found. About 1200 acres are under cultivation, and have, for the most part, a tolerably fertile soil of sand and loam. Not a tree or shrub is anywhere to be seen. Brough Lodge is the principal residence. Pop. (1831) 843, (1861) 548, (1871) 517, (1881) 431.

The parish, including also the northern part of Yell island, and bearing the name of Fetlar and North Yell, has a total area of 26, 659 acres. The Yell portion of it is much more rugged than Fetlar, but will be described in our article on Yell. The Earl of Zetland is chief proprietor, but 2 others hold each an annual value of between £100 and £500, 4 of from £50 to £100, and 2 of from £20 to £50. In the presbytery of Burravoe and synod of Shetland, Fetlar forms one quoad sacra parish and North Yell another, the former a living worth £222. Its church, rebuilt in 1790, contains 267 sittings. There is also a Free church of Fetlar; and 3 public schools:- Fetlar, Braeside, and Sellafirth-with respective accommodation for 70, 30, and 54 children, had (1880) an average attendance of 43, 43, and 12, and grants of £45, 2s-, £42, 5s., and £17. Valuation (1881) £1877, 11s. 3d. Pop. (1793) 1346, (1831) 1680, (1861) 1480, (1871) 1410, (1881) 1252.

An accompanying 19th C. Ordnance Survey map is available, or use the map tab to the right of this page.

Note: This text has been made available using a process of scanning and optical character recognition. Despite manual checking, some typographical errors may remain. Please remember this description dates from the 1880s; names may have changed, administrative divisions will certainly be different and there are known to be occasional errors of fact in the original text, which we have not corrected because we wish to maintain its integrity. This information is provided subject to our standard disclaimer

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