Situated near Sumburgh Airport at the southern end of the Mainland of Shetland, are the ruins of the ancient settlement of Jarlshof which was rediscovered in 1905 when a violent storm eroded the south face of a great mound to reveal sections of a huge stone wall. First settled in 2000 BC, the site was successively occupied by Bronze-Age dune dwellers, Iron-Age broch builders, Pictish wheel-house people and Vikings. The name Jarlshof, originally associated with a ruined mediaeval farmhouse, was coined by Sir Walter Scott in his novel The Pirate (1822). Along with the Broch of Mousa and Old Scatness, Jarlshof is on the tentative list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

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