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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Whalsey, an island of Nesting parish, Shetland, 1¾ mile E of the nearest point of the Mainland, and 13½ miles NNE of Lerwick, under which it has a post office. With a rocky coast, it measures 55/8 miles from NE to SW, has a maximum breadth of 21/8 miles, consists almost entirely of gneiss, is studded with ten little fresh-water lochs, rises to 393 feet at the Ward of Clett, contains one sheep farm, and has a free light soil, capable of considerable cultivation, but in many places severely ` scalped.' Symbister House, a stately mansion of Aberdeenshire granite, built half a century since at a cost of £20, 000, is the property of William Arthur Bruce, Esq. (b. 1863; suc. 1873), who holds 25,180 acres, valued at £2354 per annum. The Established church was raised to quoad sacra status in 1869, its minister's stipend being £135, and the parish including the Out Skerries, etc.; and there are public schools of Brough and Livister. Pop. of island (1841) 628, (1861) 728, (1871) 854, (1881) 870; of q. s. parish (1881) 1027.

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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