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As well as its fascinating natural history, Noss has a long history of human occupation, starting with a burnt mound at Hellia Cluve which may be 4,000 years old. Place name evidence and the remains of a mediaeval chapel on Big Ness ('promontory of the buildings') suggest that Noss was home to a Celtic Christian community before the Viking invasion. What those marauders did to the priests in Papil Geo ('the Priests' Cove') may be imagined. From time to time, winter storms shift the sands at Nesti Voe to reveal human bones from the ancient graveyard.

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