"WALLS, (and Sandness) a parish in the Shetland Isles, coast of Scotland. It comprises the districts of Walls and Sandness on the mainland, and the islands of Foula, Papa Stour, Vaila, and Linga, extending in length about 7½ miles from N. to S., with a breadth of 5 miles. The surface is irregular, and the coast-line rocky, rising in many parts 100 feet above sea-level. Along the shore are Gruting, and other voes or inlets, where fish and wild fowl are caught. The rocks consist of gneiss, granitic porphyry, quartz, and Old Red sandstone. A thousand acres or upwards are under tillage. The village of Walls is about 15 miles W. of Lerwick, and is situated between St. Magnus and Scalloway bays. Many of the inhabitants are employed in the fisheries. This parish is in the presbytery of Olnafirth and synod of Shetland. The stipend of the minister is about £158. There are four parochial churches, viz:, Walls, Sandness, Papa Stour, and Foula -the first was erected in 1748. The Independents have chapels, situated respectively at Walls and Sandness. There are three Society schools.
From The National Gazetteer of of Great Britain and Ireland (1868)
"WALLS, a parish in the W of the Mainland of Shetland, whose church stands at the head of Vaila Sound, 24 miles WNW of Lerwick, under which there is a post office. The parish, containing also the post office of Sandness, 31 miles WNW of Lerwick, comprehends the ancient parishes of Walls, Sandness, Papa-Stour, and Foula; comprises the mainland districts of Walls and Sandness, and the inhabited islands of Papa-Stour, Vaila, Linga, and Foula; and is bounded on the E by Sandsting, and on all other sides by- the sea.
Its utmost mainland length, from N to S, is 7 miles; its utmost mainland breadth is 5 miles; and its total land area is 38 square miles or 24,499 acres. The islands are separately noticed. The mainland district extends southward from St Maguns Bay to the S end of Vaila Sound; includes the most westerly ground on the mainland; is indented, but not to any considerable length, by several creeks and bays; and has mostly a rocky coast, often rising to a height of over 100 feet. The interior is hilly, attaining 817 feet at Sandness Hill, 536 at Dale Hill, and 549 at Stoubrough Hill; to the E are more than thirty small fresh-water lochs. The rocks are gneiss, quartzite, granitic porphyry, and Old Red Sandstone. The soil is mostly moorish or mossy, but forms some good arable tracts. Upwards of 1000 acres are in tillage; a great extent is meadow or pasture; and abundance of peat is on the hills. R. T. C. Scott, Esq. of Melby, is chief proprietor, 2 others holding each an annual value of between £100 and £500, 2 of from £50 to £100, and 3 of from £20 to £50. Walls is in the presbytery of Olnafirth and the synod of Shetland; the living is worth £185. The parish church was built in 1743, and contains 500 sittings. The sub-parochial churches of Sandness and Papa-Stour were built in 1749 and 1806, and contain 278 and 190 sittings. There are also Free, Congregational, and Wesleyan churches; and six schools, with total accommodation for 311 children, had (1884) an average attendance of 259, and grants amounting to £215, 18s. 3d. Valuation (1860) £1651, (1884) £2187, 7s. Pop. (1801) 1817, (1831) 2143, (1861) 2570, (1871) 2579, (1881) 2262."
F.H. Groome Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland, 1882-4