Historic Scotland

Opening times

Open year-round.

 

Overview

Hike through a Neolithic landscape to an extraordinary, puzzling ancient building.

Stanydale ‘Temple’ is the only truly megalithic structure surviving from prehistoric Shetland. It comprises a wall of large boulders enclosing a wide oval area, which would have originally been enclosed by a great timber roof.

We don’t know what purpose Stanydale served. The archaeologist who excavated the site called it a ‘temple’, as the structure is similar to known Neolithic temples in Malta. However,  it could just as easily have acted as  a village hall, courtroom or chieftan’s hall. Whatever its purpose, it’s a significant building in a landscape rich in prehistoric structures.