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so much to sea

Trading booths or böds 15th-17th century

Between the 15th and 17th century the salt fish trade was in the hands of German merchants of the Hanseatic League. These Hanseatic traders were sailing direct to Shetland, cutting out the Bergen trading post. Each trader was allocated an anchorage by the authorities in Shetland, who also enforced agreed prices. Trading booths or böds were set up throughout the islands, and this trade became the backbone of the Shetland economy.

The image shows the Hanseatic böd in Symbister, Whalsay, one of many throughout the islands.