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Does anyone know the location of "Hoidey Hols" that were used to hide from the Press Gang.


I was privileged today to be shown "The Hol of Hellier" at Turvalds Head (West of Mavis Grind) . You crawl in on your belly (tight fit at the shoulders), but you can stand up inside, and I believe 12 people have in recent times been inside the cave at one time.


From a quick bit of research, I have found mention of the following Hols :-


"De Un" a cave at Ramnibanks Clumlie

Fury Geo - Eshaness

Hoevdi Skord - Bressay

Da Muckle Hoidy Hol - Lunning Head

GlisiGeo - Sandsting

Hoe Pool - Near Spiggie

Da Wart a Mioness - Skerries

Cati Geo - Watsness

Da Hoidy Hol - between Sullom and Buraland

Kettleback Cave - Isle of Uyea


Has anyone ever been inside any of these places?

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I have a very vague recollection of my father pointing out a place in the banks at the back of Houss, Burra Isle looking out on Clift Sound.

It's a long time ago, so I can't remember much about where we were, other than that.


At one time I did get him and his brother to fill in the names they had for all the peerie places on the banks onto one of the green, detailed Ordnance Survey maps, but like many interesting bits of paper, I haven't seen that for years. It'll turn up one day (I hope!).

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Guest Anonymous

^^^^ The old names for places about the banks are very important because most of the old men who 'guid aboot da banks, eftir wrack wid', are dying out, and the younger generations, including the 50 somethings like me, weren't interested enough to remenber all that we were told by our elders.


Rumor has it that there is a book planned to catalogue all the old place names 'aboot da banks', let's hope it happens.


Shetlopedia has also been considering a project like this, but it is a massive research project, and there just isn't enough hours in the day, weeks in the year, etc. Having said that, if we don't start soon, our elders who will be the source of information, may be gone and take that knowledge with them.


Maybe if every Shetlander who has an old relative, visited that person with a local map, and wrote down the names they remembered, then such information could, one way or another, be gathered and saved for the future generations. Some day those future generations will want that information. :D

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^ That, in some ways is what is happening, only not just through relatives but knowledgeable aquaintences, and i'd urge anyone who knows of someone who would know to gather that info, it's a fascinating subject.


However, back on topic, this is a brilliant thing to find out about, i would be made up to visit any of these hoidey hols. Great subject clanchief.

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seem to remember being shown one up near fedderland when I used to go on shetland field studies walks. 'Fraid just threw out all my notes (kept them for 16years, threw them out last week) but it'd probbably be worth contacting a long standing member, it's the sort of thing that would make it onto walk sheets.

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Eileen Brooke-Freeman is the place names person at the Amenity Trust. The project has been going for quite some time now, and I imagine the plan is to make the information more widely available in some way or another.


Thanks for the info Malachy :


Eileen has given me a few more sites for Press Holes :


Press Hole Breckon Grid Ref 5300 0550

Hoose O Sholmack Papa Stour- no grid

Hoose O Hirdie Geo Papa Stour - no grid

Press Geng Hol Mid Waas Grid Ref 1835 4967

Tammie Tyries Hoidie Hol Skerries - Grid ref 6697 7142

Paets Hoose Skerries - Grid Ref 6681 7065

Warhouse - Cuckron Stromfirth - Grid Ref 4051 5206

Wester Crumooth Geo Havra - Grid Ref 3558 2736

Stouraclett Bressay - no grid

Tammie Muckle's Haa Quarff - Grid Ref 4407 3564

Press Master's Hol Aithsetter Cunningsburgh- Grid Ref 4440 3078

Upper & Lower Tief's Holes Fair Isle - No grid.

Hol O Da Hoidins Burraland Northmavine Grid Ref 3433 7454

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