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Features / Fun Quiz – Historical geography of Shetland

What’s in your backyard?

Answers now available, click here.

HISTORY is all around is us in Shetland, sadly often seen as the ruins and walls of long-forgotten homesteads, piles of stones in a field.

Some of that social history is captured on the maps of a hundred years ago. Modern maps are bland in comparison and can’t compete with the delightful details to be found hidden in the past.

With our holiday quiz online while we are having our Christmas break, we are reconnecting you to a Shetland of times gone by.

Using the National Library of Scotland’s (NLS) excellent web site, we explore the different regions with some multiple choice questions. The web site allows you to superimpose the old maps over a modern satellite imagery, which, along with with our quiz, aims to help you reconnect with the forgotten footpaths, villages and schools that lay hidden in our countryside.

Using the maps

For the quiz we used OS Six Inch, 1888-1913 and OS 25 Inch, 1892-1905. These can be selected on the left side. Underneath is the transparency slider – use this to overlay the map on the satellite image. The maps can be zoomed into and dragged like any other online map.

The 1892-1905 map should be used for the Lerwick questions. The 1888-1913 map (mostly) or the 1892-1905 map can be used for the remaining questions. It is worth checking the alternative map if you can’t find the answer. The 1892-1905 doesn’t cover every corner of Shetland.

Note: In some places the satellite and historical maps don’t quite line up, but you can still follow the maps.

Open the NLS website here on the 1892-1905 map of Lerwick, ready for the first question.

Continue to quiz