The Haa is open from mid April to the end of September.
The Haa facilities include toilets, local information and tea or coffee making.
Funded by Museums and Galleries Scotland
The Haa has a four star museum rating from Visit Scotland.
Tangwick Haa stone work underneath the letters

Click on headings to expand and on the timeline for detail about the dates:

  • Building

    Building History

    The Tangwick Haa is known to have been built in the late 17th century as a three storey house for the first Cheynes of Tangwick.

    The word Haa means the house of the laird or landowner. However the word Haa is also found in many small townships where it is simply the name of a house and its associated croft.

    The Haa of Tangwick would have been a fine house in its day.

    The last resident laird, John Cheyne VIII of Tangwick, died in 1840 and thereafter a caretaker looked after the Haa.

    The Cheyne family was thereafter based in Edinburgh but came to Shetland in the summer until the First World War.

    The building was empty during most of  the 20th century being used as a workshop for some of this time. The fabric of the building had deteriorated until the Shetland Amenity Trust carried out a renovation in 1985 with the museum opening in 1987.

  • Museum
  • Lairds
  • Lairds Relations
TimeLineE 1650-1700 : The Haa was built by the Cheyne family
The first Cheyne to style himself 'of Tangwick' was John Cheyne who died in 1645. They had previously been 'of Essilmont' in Aberdeenshire but through remaining resolutely Roman Catholic during the reformation had lost their position and eventually their estates. John's father Sir Patrick Cheyne X of Essilmont was the first Cheyne to have established in Shetland and became the first occupant of the family tomb in the Eshaness graveyard.
1645-1840 : The resident Lairds of Tangwick
The early Cheyne lairds survived for around 150 years like most Scottish lairds who settled in Shetland after its annexation by the Scottish Crown - by trading with continental Europe and by persuading their tenants to fish for them.
1631 : John Cheyne I
1661 - 1698 : George Cheyne II
1698 : John Cheyne III
1704 : George Cheyne IV
James Cheyne V
1696 - 1748 : Patrick Cheyne VI
1737 - 1821 : James Cheyne VII
1763 - 1840 : John Cheyne VIII
1829 : Henry Cheyne was admitted as a Writer to the Signet
Henry Cheyne IX (1804-1868) was living in Edinburgh and was admitted as a Writer to the Signet.
1840 : The last resident laird died
John Cheyne VIII (1763-1840) was the last resident laird in Tangwick.
1917 : Major Harry Cheyne killed in action
Major Harry Cheyne XII (1881-1917) of the Royal Field Artillery was killed in action by shell fire. Shown here with his daughter Lilias.
1924 : The Haa unoccupied
The Haa had been used as a summer residence since the last laird left until the First World War, except for caretaker provision.
1978 : The Haa in deteriorated condition
The building had deteriorated after being unoccupied for quite some time and was in need of extensive building work.
1985 : The Haa prior to renovation
The roof was removed and interior woodwork largely replaced.
1986 : The Haa during renovation
Extensive work was done to replace the interior and renovate the exterior always with reference to the original building.
1987 : The Haa after renovation
The completed building was then fitted out as a local museum which opened in 1987.
1999 : The Haa extension was rebuilt
The extension, which was originally the kitchens of the Haa, was rebuilt. This provided an office, store and additional display space.

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