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Finniegarth, Finniegirt.....


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Garth is still listed in archaic form as yard or garden in the dictionary.

There are a couple of Finniegerts around Shetland*, as you probably know. There's something in the back of my mind abut what the Finnie bit may refer to, but I'm damned if I can retrieve it!


(*Isn't one of them haunted?)

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Mentioning of the Picts suggests a mentioning of

the Finns, the Norway Finns, who were the early inhabi-

tants of the Scandinavian peninsula prior to the Norse

conquest. The numerous myths about them, still linger-

ing in Shetland, make one inclined to think, that they

have been in these islands, but whether they have been

here as an original and independent race or not, we have

no means of knowing. It was customary among the

Norsemen to take their servants or thralls from among

the captives made by them in war, and as Finnish

thralls were commonly kept by the Norwegians, there

is reason for believing that they were kept also by

the Norse settlers in Shetland* The Finn seems to be

commemorated in one place-name at least (possibly

more) in Shetland. It is the name of an ancient dyke-

stead in Fetlar, about which an old myth is told. My

attention was drawn to this by Mr Laurence Williamson

of Mid Yell. The " guidman " Kolbenstaft in the north-

west of Fetlar did not have a sufficiently good dyke

around his property to keep away the sheep which broke

in continually and destroyed his corn. One night when

he went to bed, he expressed the wish, that a dyke

sufficient to keep off the troublesome animals might be

standing in the morning, when he awoke, even if he

should give his best cow for it. Next morning, when he

went out, he found a splendid new dyke standing where

he had wished it, and at the same time his best cow had

disappeared from the byre. Parts of the stead of this

dyke still remain, and it can be traced all the way to

Hoobie on the south side of Fetlar. There are a few

legends told about places, situated alongside this dyke-

stead, and the spot where it terminates on the south side

of the island has been from old a noted troll-place. The

name of this dyke or dykestead at the present day is

"de Finnigirt dyke." But the old name is simply

Finnigord: the Finns' dyke. The suffix "dyke" in

" Finnigirt-dyke " thus comes to be a tautology, a

modern addition caused by ignorance of the word

" gord." As the Finns were from early times believed

by the Norwegians to possess great magic power, and as

there are several old myths about them to this effect, the

just mentioned Fetlar legend is in favour of deriving the

name " Finnigord " from the Finns. There can be no

connection at all between this Finnigirt-dyke and the

township in Fetlar called Finnie, as this latter is situated

at the other end of the island.









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^^ As with everything, spelling would probably vary according to where in Shetland you come from. My choice would be Finnigert, but that's Ness, and its not a name from down this end, so probably best to use the spelling nearest to the pronounciation most local to the one you have in mind.

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All food for thought. Thank you.


Well, here it is, in all its glory (just finishing landscaping the outside now), but it really is a beautiful little croft, complete with old watermill.






Habitable and rentable!






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The trees are doing well especially the ones down the side. A few didn't make it and the rabbits in winter don't help.


Finnigert is beautiful. I lay down on Tuesday in the long grass thinking this had to be the most perfect spot.


The orchids are just beginning to show their heads. The grass is growing.


We have recordings of the Burn of Finnigert, the Hill of Finnigert and the Yard of Finnigert made by Jim Leask and Bernadette Porter. Can send you a copy of you want!


What other tunes are there related to this spot?

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thanks,but i hae recordins o dat tunes,da only ider tunes i ken o aboot finnigert is twa dit cam tae me when i wis dere,"DA ROD TAE FINNIGERT, and GRANNY TROW",but a'm afraid dey're only in my head,i kanna right doon music,and a'm no great at playin it eider.mind you you're no ment tae share tunes dit da trows teach you :D ,

is da monkey puzzle still living too?

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