|Old Norse name||Breiðey/Brusey|
|Meaning of name||Old Norse for 'broad island' or 'Brusi's island'|
Bressay Lighthouse at Kirkabister Ness overlooking Bressay Sound
|OS grid reference|
|Area||2,805 ha (10+7⁄8 sq mi)|
|Highest elevation||Ward of Bressay, 226 m (741 ft)|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Council area||Shetland Islands|
|Population density||13/km2 (34/sq mi)|
Bressay (Scots : Bressa) is a populated island in the Shetland archipelago of Scotland.
Bressay lies due south of Whalsay, west of the Isle of Noss, and north of Mousa. With an area of 11 square miles (28 km2), it is the fifth-largest island in Shetland. The population is around 360 people, concentrated in the middle of the west coast, around Glebe and Fullaburn.
The island is made up of Old Red Sandstone with some basaltic intrusions. Bressay was quarried extensively for building materials, used all over Shetland, especially in nearby Lerwick.There are a number of sea caves and arches. The largest of eleven lochs on the island are the Loch of Grimsetter in the east, and the Loch of Brough.
Bressay has a large number of migrant birds, especially in the east. The Loch of Grimsetter is a haven for waders and whooper swans. In the far south, there is a colony of Arctic skuas.
The name of the island may have been recorded in 1263 as 'Breiðoy' (Old Norse "broad island"). In a 1490 document the island is referred to as "Brwsøy" - "Brusi's island" which name may indicate it was the 11th century base for Earl of Orkney Brusi Sigurdsson.This possibility is supported by a later reference to his son Rögnvald as "Lord of the Shetlanders" and Thompson (2008) is in "no doubt " that Shetland specifically was in Brusi's possession during his joint earldom with his brothers.
The Bressay Stone is an outstanding example of Pictish art.
The slender sides are engraved with ogham, and the two faces with various examples of knotwork, and imagery. The top of each face has a cross. On one side, there is an engraving of two men with crosiers, as well as various animals including horses, pigs, and what appears to be someone in the process of being swallowed by two sea monsters. It has been suggested that this is Jonah.
During World War I and II gun emplacements were built to guard Bressay Sound.
Attractions on the island include Bressay Lighthouse. At Maryfield there is a heritage centre, a hotel and the old laird's mansion, Gardie House, built in 1724. The Northern Lights Spa Hotel at Uphouse is Britain's most northerly spa.
Frequent car ferries sail from Maryfield to Lerwick on the Shetland Mainland. During the summer months, a passenger ferry service links the east coast of Bressay with the nature reserve Isle of Noss.
Lerwick and Bressay Parish Church (of the Church of Scotland) has three places of worship. The Bressay Church building is located close to the Marina, near the centre of the west coast of the island.
Shetland, also called the Shetland Islands and formerly Zetland, is a subarctic archipelago in Scotland lying at a confluence between Orkney, the Faroe Islands and Norway. It is the northernmost region of the United Kingdom.
The Orkneyinga saga is a narrative of the history of the Orkney and Shetland islands and their relationship with other local polities, particularly Norway and Scotland. The saga has "no parallel in the social and literary record of Scotland" and is "the only medieval chronicle to have Orkney as the central place of action". The main focus of the work is the line of jarls who ruled the Earldom of Orkney, which constituted the Norðreyjar or Northern Isles of Orkney and Shetland and there are frequent references to both archipelagoes throughout.
Fetlar is one of the North Isles of Shetland, Scotland, with a usually resident population of 61 at the time of the 2011 census. Its main settlement is Houbie on the south coast, home to the Fetlar Interpretive Centre. Fetlar is the fourth-largest island of Shetland and has an area of just over 4,000 ha.
Mousa is a small island in Shetland, Scotland, uninhabited since the nineteenth century. The island is known for the Broch of Mousa, an Iron Age round tower, and is designated as a Special Protection Area for storm-petrel breeding colonies.
The Isle of Noss or Noss is a small, previously inhabited island in Shetland, Scotland. Noss is separated from the island of Bressay by the narrow Noss Sound. It has been run as a sheep farm since 1900, and has been a national nature reserve since 1955.
North Ronaldsay is the northernmost island in the Orkney archipelago of Scotland. With an area of 690 hectares (2.7 sq mi), it is the fourteenth-largest. It is mentioned in the Orkneyinga saga; in modern times it is known for its historic lighthouse, migratory bird life and unusual breed of sheep.
Papa Westray, also known as Papay, is one of the Orkney Islands in Scotland, United Kingdom. The fertile soil has long been a draw to the island.
The Northern Isles are a pair of archipelagos off the north coast of mainland Scotland, comprising Orkney and Shetland. They are part of Scotland, as are the Hebrides. The climate is cool and temperate and much influenced by the surrounding seas. There are a total of 36 inhabited islands. The landscapes of the fertile agricultural islands of Orkney contrast with the more rugged Shetland islands to the north, where the economy is more dependent on fishing and on the oil wealth of the surrounding seas. Both island groups have a developing renewable energy industry. Both have a Pictish and Norse history. Both were part of the Kingdom of Norway until they were absorbed into the Kingdom of Scotland in the 15th century. They remained part of it until the 1707 formation of the Kingdom of Great Britain and the 1801 formation of the United Kingdom. And they both played a significant naval role during the world wars of the 20th century.
Muckle Roe is an island in Shetland, Scotland, in St. Magnus Bay, to the west of Mainland. It has a population of around 130 people, who mainly croft and live in the south east of the island.
Papa Stronsay is a small island in Orkney, Scotland, lying north east of Stronsay. It is 74 hectares in size, and 13 metres (43 ft) above sea level at its highest point. After being largely abandoned, the island was bought at the end of the 20th century by traditionalist Catholic monks of the Sons of the Most Holy Redeemer, who operate a monastery and farm there.
Thorfinn Sigurdsson, also known as Thorfinn the Mighty, was an 11th-century Earl of Orkney. He was the youngest of five sons of Earl Sigurd Hlodvirsson and the only one resulting from Sigurd's marriage to a daughter of Malcolm II of Scotland. He ruled alone as earl for about a third of the time that he held the title and jointly with one or more of his brothers or with his nephew Rögnvald Brusason for the remainder. Thorfinn married Ingibiorg Finnsdottir, daughter of Finn Arnesson, Jarl of Halland.
Sigurd Hlodvirsson, popularly known as Sigurd the Stout from the Old Norse Sigurðr digri, was an Earl of Orkney. The main sources for his life are the Norse Sagas, which were first written down some two centuries or more after his death. These engaging stories must therefore be treated with caution rather than as reliable historical documents.
Brusi Sigurdsson was one of Sigurd Hlodvirsson's four sons. He was joint Earl of Orkney from 1014. His life is recorded in the Orkneyinga Saga.
Rognvald Brusason , son of Brusi Sigurdsson, was Earl of Orkney jointly with Thorfinn Sigurdsson from about 1037 onwards. His life is recorded in the Orkneyinga Saga.
Voe of Cullingsburgh is a large sea loch off the Shetland island of Bressay, voe meaning "sea inlet" in Shetland dialect. The local spelling of the name is "Voe of Cullingsbrough".
Prehistoric Shetland refers to the prehistoric period of the Shetland archipelago of Scotland, when it was first occupied by humans. The period prior to human settlement in Shetland is known as the geology of Scotland. Prehistory in Shetland does not end until the beginning of the Early Medieval Period in Scotland, around AD 600. More than 5,000 archaeological sites have been recorded in the Shetland Islands.
The modern names of Scottish islands stem from two main influences. There are many names that derive from the Scottish Gaelic language in the Hebrides and Firth of Clyde. In the Northern Isles most place names have a Norse origin. There are also some island place names that originate from three other influences, including a limited number that are essentially English language names, a few that are of Brittonic origin and some of an unknown origin that may represent a pre-Celtic language. These islands have all been occupied by the speakers of at least three and in many cases four or more languages since the Iron Age, and many of the names of these islands have more than one possible meaning as a result.
Scandinavian Scotland refers to the period from the 8th to the 15th centuries during which Vikings and Norse settlers, mainly Norwegians and to a lesser extent other Scandinavians, and their descendants colonised parts of what is now the periphery of modern Scotland. Viking influence in the area commenced in the late 8th century, and hostility between the Scandinavian earls of Orkney and the emerging thalassocracy of the Kingdom of the Isles, the rulers of Ireland, Dál Riata and Alba, and intervention by the crown of Norway were recurring themes.