Uyea, Unst

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Not to be confused with Uyea, Northmavine


Uyea Isle.jpg
View over Uyeasound from Uyea
Location: 60°40’0"N, 0°54’0"W
Grid reference: HU600994
Area: 507 acres
Highest point: The Ward, 164 feet
Population: 0

Uyea is an uninhabited island, lying south of Unst in Shetland. It is one of two islands of Shetland with the same name (the other lying off Unst); the meaning is uncertain but it may be from the Old Norse "sacred place".


The island was inhabited as early as the Bronze Age, and a chambered cairn can still be seen.

In the 12th century, Saint Olaf's chapel overlooking Brei Wick was built.

In 1745, two girls from Uyea rowed to the small island of Haaf Gruney to milk some of the cows grazing here. Unfortunately, their return was marred by a strong storm, and eventually they found their tiny boat blown to Karmøy in south west Norway. The Uyea girls ended up marrying Karmøy men, and their descendants still live there.[1]

Jack Priest, in his evocative memoir of the isle during Second World War, describes it as "a beachcomber's dream - washed as it is with a westerly Atlantic tide through Bluemull Sound, fed from the east by waters of the Norwegian basin and finally the North Sea pressing up from among the isles through the narrow channel between Yell and Fetlar and feeding Colgrave Sound on the south side of Uyea Isle."[2]

The island was the home of Sir Basil Neven-Spence, Member of Parliament (MP) for Orkney and Shetland from 1935 to 1950.

Uyea Hall

Outside links


  1. Haswell-Smith, Hamish (2004). The Scottish Islands. Edinburgh: Canongate. ISBN 1841954543. 
  2. Priest, Jack Island at War (1994)
Islands of Shetland

Inhabited islands:
Mainland  •
Bressay  • Burra (East & West)  • Fair Isle  • Fetlar  • Foula  • Muckle Roe  • Out Skerries  • Papa Stour  • Trondra  • Unst  • Vaila  • Whalsay  • Yell

Other islands:
Balta  •
Bigga  • Brother Isle  • Colsay  • Hascosay  • Hildasay  • Lamba  • Linga, Muckle Roe  • Linga, Yell  • Mousa  • Muckle Flugga  • Noss  • Oxna  • Papa  • Papa Little  • Samphrey  • South Havra  • Uyea, Northmavine  • Uyea, Unst  • Vementry  • West Linga