Fethaland Fishing Station – 1890

Using archaeological survey data and PointCloud scan data, we have created an accurate 3D interactive reconstruction of Fethaland fishing station as it would have looked in 1890, this gives a better understanding of the history of this site and presents data in a fun interactive way.

The site of this old fishing station is being lost to coastal erosion, and the model is a way of preserving this part of our history, before it is lost to the sea.

Fethaland lies within two bays at the northern tip of Northmavine and is the farthest north point of Shetland mainland.

Fethaland, has a long history of human settlement, spanning from prehistoric times right up until the twentieth century, when the fishing station, established during the 15th and 16th centuries, became redundant.

This haaf (deep-sea) fishing station was at one time the busiest in Shetland, with around 60 boats operating from here. The season was short: from June until August. The workers were accommodated in lodges. These huts were drystone with roofs of wood and turf that were removed at the end of each season to protect them from damage by winter storms. The fish were split open and dried on the pebble beach before being exported to market. From the 17th century herring was also brought ashore and salted.

This Virtual Histories Project has been a collaboration between The University of St Andrews, Open Virtual Worlds Group based at School of Computer Science, School of History, and the SCAPE Trust and Shetland Museum & Archive.

You can access our OpenSim grid to explore our reconstructions of Fethaland Fishing Station by following the instruction here.

The Canmore entry for Fethland is here.