Noss is located in Scotland
Noss shown within Scotland
OS grid reference HU544405
Norse name Nos
Area and summit
Area 343 hectares (1.32 sq mi)
Area rank 81
Highest elevation 181 metres (594 ft)
Population 0
Island group Shetland
Local Authority Shetland Islands
Flag of Scotland.svg Lymphad3.svg
References [1][2]
If shown, area and population ranks are for all Scottish islands and all inhabited Scottish islands respectively. Population data is from 2001 census.

Noss is a small, previously inhabited island in Shetland, Scotland. It is a sheep farm and has been a National Nature Reserve since 1955.



Noss is separated from the island of Bressay by the narrow Noss Sound. It has been run as a sheep farm since 1900.[2]

Noss had a population of 20 in 1851 but has had no permanent inhabitants since 1939. The main focus of settlement on Noss was around the low lying west side of the island at Gungstie (Old Norse: a landing place). Gungstie was built in the 1670s and is currently used by the seasonal wildlife wardens. Another settlement at Setter, on the south east of the island was inhabited until the 1870s and now lies derelict. Among the few families living on Noss were the Booth family headed by Joseph Booth (1765-1847). Genealogical records indicate that he was occupied as a farmer and fish curer. Records show that he was resident on Noss as early as 1834.[3]


Noss has been a National Nature Reserve since 1955.[2] The island is linked to Bressay by a seasonal ferry service, run by the wildlife wardens using a rigid-hulled inflatable boat.

Attractions on Noss include a visitor centre, the Pony Pund built to breed Shetland Ponies, the Holm of Noss rock and the Noup cliff. The sandstone cliffs of Noss have weathered into a series of horizontal ledges making ideal breeding grounds for gannets, puffins, guillemots, shags, Black-legged Kittiwakes, razorbills, fulmars and great skuas. Otters are frequently seen around the island.



  1. ^ Anderson, Joseph (Ed.) (1893) Orkneyinga Saga. Translated by Jón A. Hjaltalin & Gilbert Goudie. Edinburgh. James Thin and Mercat Press (1990 reprint). ISBN 0-901824-25-9
  2. ^ a b c Haswell-Smith, Hamish (2004). The Scottish Islands. Edinburgh: Canongate. ISBN 1841954543. 
  3. ^ Booth family on Shetland Island Genealogical Database

External links

  • Noss - Scotland's National Nature Reserves

Coordinates: 60°8′47″N 1°1′10″W / 60.14639°N 1.01944°W / 60.14639; -1.01944

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