"NESTING, a parish in the Shetland Islands, Scotland. It is in the mainland, and in the shire of Orkney and Shetland, with the ancient parishes of Lunnasting and Whalsay and the detached islands of the Skerries, annexed. It extends about 18 miles in length, with an extreme breadth of 4 miles. The inequalities of the surface are considerable, the principal elevations being Catfirth, Doure, and Vidlaw roes. The cultivated portion of the parish is but small, the surface being chiefly bare and mossy. There are neither roads nor bridges, and agriculture is in a very backward state. The inhabitants are chiefly engaged in the fisheries, and consider the cultivation of the land as only a secondary object. Limestone, granite, syenite, and mica slate are abundant, but gneiss is the prevailing rock."
From The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland (1868)
"NESTING, a parish of Shetland, whose church stands on the NW side of South Nesting Bay, 8 miles N of the post-town, Lerwick. It comprises the ancient parishes of Nesting, Lunnasting, and Whalsay; and includes a district of the eastern mainland, the inhabited islands of Whalsay and Bound, Brurie, Gruna, and Housie Skerries, and a number of uninhabited islets.
The mainland district, extending from Lunnaness to Gletness, is bounded N by Yell Sound, E and SE by the North Sea, and W by Tingwall and Delting. Its utmost length, in a direct line from NNE to SSW, is 15 miles; its breadth varies between 1 mile and 5½ miles; and the area of the whole parish is 485/8 square miles or 30, 982 acres. The islands form the two groups of Whalsay and Out-Skerries, and lie mostly at distances of from 2 to 8 miles E of the nearest points of the mainland. They constitute the quoad sacra parish of Whalsay and Skerries, and will be separately noticed. The coast of the mainland district projects the bold headlands of Lunna Ness, Lunning Head, Stava Ness, Eswick, and Railsbrough, and is deeply indented by the voes or bays of Swining, Vidlin, Dury, South Nesting, and Cat Firth. The interior in its physical features and agricultural character differs little or nothing from those of the other parts of the mainland. It contains a score of little fresh--water lakes, and attains a maximum altitude of 423 feet above sea-level at Laxowater Hill. Gneiss is the predominant rock; but granite, syenite, mica slate, and crystalline limestone also occur. About 000 acres are in tillage; and most of the rest of the land is either pastoral or waste. The inhabitants give but secondary attention to agriculture, being mainly employed in the fisheries. Nearly all the property is divided among six. Nesting is in the presbytery of Olnafirth and the synod of Shetland; the living is worth £157. The parish church, built in 1794, is amply commodious. An Established chapel of ease is at Lunna in Lunnasting; and the six schools of Lunnasting, North Nesting, South Nesting, Whalsay, Livister, and Skerries -all of them public but the last-with total accommodation for 428 children, had (1883) an average attendance of 203, and grants amounting to £191, 4s. 9d. Valuation (1860) £1565, (1884) £2695, 18s. 2d. Pop. (1801) 1941, (1831) 2103, (1861) 2583, (1871) 2679, (1881) 2626, of whom 1599 were in the ecclesiastical parish."
F.H. Groome Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland, 1882-4