The þing at NestingHLFbanner2.jpg


neap from hoglt.JPG

A quick look at Shetland's parish names will show you that many of them contain the element 'ting'. Each of these names suggests that there was once a thing held in that area. Most of these names concern a local township or settlement, such as Aith, in Aithsting, or Dale, in Delting. Nesting is one of the more mysterious names. It suggests that a thing once met at a ness, or headland, in the parish, but which one?

One clue comes from the use of the place name 'Gnípnaþing' (Neapnating) in documents dated c1510 and 1682. This can be translated as 'the thing at the neap' (ON: gnipa – a steep hill). Local tradition says that the thing was once held on the headland below the hill of Neap – could this be the ness referred to in ‘Nesting’?

Take a look at the landscape , and imagine what it would have been like to hold a meeting here. The high hill of Neap would provide an excellent point on which to watch out for people approaching the meeting. The area is ideal for access by the sea, and on a clear day you have excellent views out to Skerries, Whalsay and the east coastline of Mainland Shetland. You will see a number of ‘nousts’ – places where boats are pulled up to the shore – as you walk along the coastline here.

The promontory below Neap has been an important place for people to visit for thousands of years. There are remains of an Iron Age fort, as well as other early buildings on the island of Hog, just off the end of the headland, and you can still see the remains of large earthwork ramparts on the coastline. You may also spot the remains of an early prehistoric stone dyke running across the top of the headland. Elsewhere you will see remains of crofting activity, including old field boundaries and drainage ditches.

There is new meeting area in Nesting . It centres around the school, hall, galley shed and methodist chapel. The extensive school grounds seemed an ideal place to build a new þing, a place to record the stories of the "Sons & Daughters of Nesting". From the centre of the school grounds you can look north and see the headland of
'Gnípnaþing' (Neapnating). Wecome to the story of the new
...þing at Nesting.


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