Jarlshof – The Most Amazing Historical Site

Jarlsholf is located at Sumburgh Head near the southern tip of Mainland Shetland. This extraordinary site has a complex of ancient settlements which cover more than 4,000 years of human history. You will be amazed to find such a range of archaeological treasures in one place, including late Neolithic houses, a Bronze Age village, an Iron Age broch and wheelhouses, a Norse longhouse, a medieval farmstead and a 16th century laird’s house.

Jarlshof boasts an impressive Norse settlement possibly originating in the 9th century. The earliest longhouse was in use for several generations, being modified and lengthened over time. The settlement expanded with the construction of further longhouses, barns and byres, but by the 13th century this had been replaced by a Medieval farmstead, comprising a farmhouse, barn and corn-drier.

The astounding amount of historical remains at Jarlshof are impressive enough as a linear trip through history, but to add to the site’s appeal, the lush grasses that have grown on and around the ruins make them look like like something straight out of a fantasy novel.

SHETLAND ISLANDS, SCOTLAND, UNITED KINGDOM – 1998/01/01: Shetland Islands, Jarlshof, Old Viking Settlement. (Photo by Wolfgang Kaehler/LightRocket via Getty Images)