Earl Patrick Stewart
The Castle was built for Earl Patrick Stewart. Building work began in 1599 and took several years to complete. Earl Patrick who was notorious for his oppression of the Shetland people was accused of using forced labour to work on building the castle and contribute to its maintenance. In 1600 the castle became his seat of power and administration in Shetland. By the mid-1700s the shift of Shetland's capital to Lerwick confirmed Scalloway’s decline.
Scottish clerics and lawyers conducted many witch hunts during the period 1600 to 1650, with trials often held in the great hall of Scalloway Castle. Convicted witches were strangled or hanged on a rocky outcrop on the Gallow Hill at the west side of the village and the bodies burnt nearby.
From Viking times each area of Shetland had its own gallows. Judging from place-names, there were 14 ‘gallows hills’ in all. The site of the Scalloway gallows is a rocky outcrop to the west of the village. It is visible for miles around.
The Great Hall of Scalloway Castle
Take a look around the castle's Great Hall with the 360° picture below and see how the beams for the floors above were supported.
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