|Orkney and Shetland|
Standing over the harbour are the remains of Scalloway Castle, built from 1599 onwards by Earl Patrick Stewart. The castle remains the village's most notable feature. (The castle is usually locked, however a key can be borrowed from the nearby Scalloway Hotel.)
The name Scalloway derives from the Old Norse Skalavagr, meaning "house bay". In a letter of 1563 by the governor of Shetland, concerning merchants from North Germany, Scalloway is referred to as Schalewage. It was no doubt a good sheltered harbour on the route to Hillswick.
The village is a centre for yoal racing, a popular local sport in Scalloway. Shetland yoals are a distinctive boat derived from those of Hordaland in Norway, from whence many boatbuilders came to Scalloway to assemble imported Norwegain yoals. Many settled and married into the village.
The Gallow Hill, above Houll and overlooking the village, was Shetland's place of execution during the 17th century. Barbara Tulloch and her daughter Ellen - the last witches to be burned in Shetland - were executed there, perhaps around 1680.
Scalloway declined in influence during the 18th century, but began to flourish again around 1820, when cod fishing became important in the central mainland of Shetland.
Today Scalloway is best known as home of the North Atlantic Fisheries College, which offers numerous courses and supports several research programmes in fisheries sciences, aquaculture, marine engineering and coastal management and is home to the Centre for Nordic Studies.
Nearby are the Scalloway Islands, which derive their name from the town.
After the opening of the Schiehallion Oil Field off the westcoast of Shetland, Scalloway took over some functions as a service base for the oil business.
The Northern Lighthouse Board, has from 2005 had office space and storage rooms for their Shetland based technicans in Scalloway.
In 1599, Patrick Stewart Earl of Orkney began to build Scalloway Castle as his Shetland residence in this his northern capital. The castle's remains yet stand prominently above the village, near the quay.
Norwegian boatbuilders from the Bergen area, (Os and Tysnes), built yoals, which were then taken apart and 'flat packed' for shipping to Scalloway, from about the 16th century. Instead of sending complicated assembly instructions, they sent boatbuilders to re-build them. Many of those stayed for years in Shetland, and some married there.
To the Hanseatic merchants from Bremen and Hamburg, Scalloway was known as Schaldewage and as a good sheltered harbour on the route to Hillswick.
The Shetland Bus
During the Second World War, Scalloway was the home base and housed for some time the headquarter of "The Shetland Bus", part of the Norwegian resistance against Nazi-Germany. The Norway House and the Prince Olav Pier / slipway, which formed major parts of the base are still existing. Details about the history of The Shetland Bus are on display at the Scalloway Museum. Willie Smith has written a memoir of this period.
After the War
After the war Scalloway served as harbour of the Shetland-Orkney ferry service (mv Orcadia on the Scalloway - Stromness route).
After the opening of the Schiehallion Oil Field off the west coast of Shetland, Scalloway took over some functions as a service base for the oil business.
- Scalloway Harbour - Information
- Tourist Information
- Visit Shetland
- Panphotos - Scalloway
- Dough Houghton - Photos of Scalloway
- SSNS - Shetland School of Nautical Studies