• Children play with the replica quern stone - two stone discs, one atop the other, used for grinding grain - © Mark Sinclair / Phatsheep Photography
  • Close-up of the reconstructed croft house, showing the replicated grice, an extinct Shetland pig.
  • A family standing in front of the Shetland cow, once the most valuable animal found on a Shetland croft. Photo © Malcolm Younger

Home and Land

Home and Land explores domestic life and subsistence agriculture from 1500-1800.  This was the way that most Shetlanders lived their lives for centuries.

Entering the zone, you will discover displays detailing the life of the ruling and political elite before discovering the agricultural subsistence life of the majority. Islanders built their own homes, made their own garments and implements and grew their own crops. Everyone worked together, and lives were ruled by the seasons. Survival played a larger part than money.

Themes include: Buildings, livestock, crops, farming methods, tenant farmers and their landlords and ministers.

Highlights include:

  • Norwegian wooden imports – the only imported items in a farmer’s home.
  • A Shetland cow – the most important possession any family owned.
  • Kishie – everyday straw container used in islands without wood.

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