Skip to main content
Select Source:

Shetland Islands

Shetland Islands (shĕt´lənd), island group and council area (1993 est. pop. 22,830), 551 sq mi (1,427 sq km), extreme N Scotland, NE of the Orkney Islands. Formerly the county of Shetland or Zetland (zĕt´–), the archipelago is 70 mi (110 km) long and consists of some 100 islands, of which fewer than one fourth are inhabited. Mainland, Yell, Unst, Fetlar, Whalsey, and Bressay are the largest islands. Lerwick, on Mainland, is the principal town of the Shetland Islands.

The surface of the islands is generally low and rocky, with few trees and spare soil. In places cliffs rise above 1,000 ft (305 m). The climate is humid and, despite the northern latitude, rather mild. Oats and barley are the chief crops; fishing and cattle and sheep raising are very important. The region is famous for its knitted woolen goods and for the small, sturdy Shetland ponies originally bred there. With the discovery of North Sea oil in the early 1970s, a major oil terminal was built at Sullom Voe in the north of Mainland. Tourism is also significant.

The Shetlands are known for their ancient relics. Pictish forts are scattered throughout the islands, and a village from the Bronze Age has been unearthed at Jarlshof on Mainland. By the late 9th cent. the islands were occupied by the Norsemen; traces of their speech and customs survive. The Shetlands were not annexed to Scotland until 1472, when the islands were taken over as an unredeemed pledge of King Christian I of Norway and Denmark for the dowry of his daughter, Margaret, who married James III of Scotland.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Shetland Islands." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Shetland Islands." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 20, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/shetland-islands

"Shetland Islands." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved August 20, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/shetland-islands

Shetland

Shetland is a group of islands in the northern North Sea, some 150 miles from the north-east tip of the Scottish mainland. Once annexed by the Vikings and subsequently part of the kingdom of Norway, Shetland (together with Orkney) became part of Scotland in 1469. It is a county of Scotland and has remained a unitary local administrative authority. More than Orkney, Shetland has asserted its cultural separateness from Scotland, most notably by the annual ‘Viking’ midwinter festival of Up-Helly-A. North Sea oil has had a significant effect on the economy: one of the main terminals for landing oil from pipelines is at Sullom Voe, and the local authority negotiated with the oil companies a deal which generated considerable revenue for the islands, which were able to cut local taxes and build up a development fund for the future.

Charlotte M. Lythe

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Shetland." The Oxford Companion to British History. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Shetland." The Oxford Companion to British History. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 20, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/shetland

"Shetland." The Oxford Companion to British History. . Retrieved August 20, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/shetland

Shetland Islands

Shetland Islands Group of c.100 islands ne of the Orkneys, 210km (130mi) off the n coast of Scotland, constituting an administrative region. The principal islands are Mainland (which has the main town of Lerwick), Yell, Unst, Whalsay, and Bressay. Settled by Norse invaders in the 9th century, Scotland sezied the islands in 1472. Fishing and livestock are important, and the islands are famous for Shetland ponies. The region is also noted for its woollen clothing. More recently, oil and tourism have become major industries. Area: 1433sq km (553sq mi) Pop. (2000) 22,440.

http://www.shetland.gov.uk; http://www.visitshetland.com

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Shetland Islands." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Shetland Islands." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 20, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/shetland-islands

"Shetland Islands." World Encyclopedia. . Retrieved August 20, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/shetland-islands

Shetland

Shetland, former county, Scotland: see under Shetland Islands.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Shetland." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Shetland." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 20, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/shetland

"Shetland." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved August 20, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/shetland

Shetland

Shetlandunironed, viand •prebend •beribboned, riband •husband • house husband •unquestioned • escutcheoned •brigand, ligand •legend •fecund, second, split-second •millisecond • nanosecond •microsecond • rubicund • jocund •Langland • garland • parkland •Cartland, heartland •headland • Shetland • Lakeland •mainland •eland, Leland, Wieland, Zealand, Zeeland •Greenland • heathland • Cleveland •Friesland • Queensland • midland •England • Finland • Maryland •dryland, highland, island •Iceland • Holland • dockland •Scotland •foreland, Westmorland •Auckland, Falkland •Portland • Northland •lowland, Poland, Roland •Oakland • Copland • Newfoundland •woodland • Buckland • upland •Jutland, Rutland •Ireland • moorland •Cumberland, Northumberland •Sunderland • Switzerland •Sutherland • Hammond •almond, Armand •Edmund, Redmond •Desmond, Esmond •Raymond • Grimond • Richmond •Sigmund • Sigismund • Osmond •Dortmund • unsummoned •diamond • gourmand • unopened •errand, gerund •reverend • Bertrand • dachshund •unchastened •old-fashioned, unimpassioned •unsanctioned •aforementioned, undermentioned, unmentioned •unconditioned • unsweetened •unenlightened • unleavened •self-governed • unseasoned •wizened • thousand

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Shetland." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Shetland." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 20, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/shetland

"Shetland." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Retrieved August 20, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/shetland