Some 8,000 archaeological sites and monuments, architectural objects and marine sites are recorded in Shetland, of which around 375 of the most important examples are presently scheduled. A scheduled monument is a monument of national importance that Scottish Ministers have given legal protection under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979.

Historic Scotland compiles and maintains the Schedule of monuments of national importance on behalf of Scottish Ministers. The criteria for determining ‘national importance’ for scheduling is set out in the Scottish Historic Environment Policy. Scheduled Monuments are given legal protection under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979.

Most works on scheduled monuments require scheduled monument consent, which is administered by Historic Scotland on behalf of Scottish Ministers.

Information on monuments contained in the Schedule is available from Historic Scotland's website. From here you can download a complete list of Scheduled Monuments, or search a database of Scheduled Monuments records and access additional information and associated legal documents.

Alternatively, a map-based search facility is available through Pastmap.

Historic wrecks can be protected as Scheduled Monuments or as designated wrecks under the Protection of Wrecks Act 1973.

There are two protected wreck sites in Shetland

Kennemerland and Wrangels Palais Out Skerries (Historic Scotland)

Additional link re Wrangels Palais, Out Skerries (Historic Scotland)

Further information on Scheduled Monuments and Designated Wrecks is available on Historic Scotland’s website. You can also find out more about different archaeological periods, themes and monument types, ranging from prehistoric burials to wartime defences, in a series of information leaflets.

A record of all known archaeological sites in Shetland, the Sites and Monuments Record, is held at Shetland Amenity Trust.