Stourbrough Hill

My little croft house sits below Stourbrough (pronounced Stoor-ber-ra) hill.   Sometimes spelled Stoorborough.

According to the internet, this hill that I see everyday is 173m above sea level and is 32nd highest hill in Shetland – we don’t have mountains.

I climbed Stourborough Hill once many years back riding Haakon.  It was quite the trek but the views at the top were amazing and well worth the effort.  Jaw-droppingly amazing.  But it was a huge effort for Haakon even then and I doubt I will ever do it again.  I had to get off and walk while Haakon picked his way through. At times he was climbing up the peat hags (cliffs) on his knees, and hauling himself over.   It was a very different landscape at the top and difficult to navigate.

Below the hill, in my field, we have a two possible Bronze Age ruins, though I am not sure really.  They are like house-shaped clearings.  No one has investigated them. I wish someone knowledgable would.

And on the other side of the fence, into the hill, is a rectangular shape – I have no idea at all what that is but it is very clear and different to the rest of the area.

However, the most interesting fact about Stourbrough HIll, is that “A striking feature of the production of axes and objects known as Shetland knives from riebeckite felsite, an igneous rock occurring in the form of intrusive dykes in granite country rock at the quarry complex at North Roe, on the Northmavine peninsula of Mainland Shetland (Ballin 2011a, b; Davis, 2012), is the occurrence of hoards of both axes and knives.

The most spectacular of the latter is the Stourbrough knife hoard (Fig. 3), composed of 19 knives, each placed upright and bookended by sandstone blocks. The hoard was found in eroding peat near the summit of a hill in West Mainland.” The Role of Stone in Island Societies in Neolithic Atlantic Europe: Creating Places and Cultural Landscapes – Gabriel Cooney

Felsite knives in the Stourbrough hoard, West Mainland, Shetland. (Photo: Shetland Amenity Trust/D. Piquer)

I think (and hope) the knives on display at the Shetland Museum. If they are, I will go and pay them a visit one rainy day. A little part of me wished I had found them……. Haakon?  We’re going out. Come on old man!

5 thoughts on “Stourbrough Hill

  1. Kris

    Apparently Ted looks interested in the odd land spaces, too. Though I doubt he would make it all the way up that hill either.


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