20 COMMERCIAL STREET, THE LODBERRIE, INCLUDING BAINS BEACH SEA WALL AND STEPS, CRAIGIE STANE NOOST AND SEA WALL (Ref:37242)
This building is in the Shetland Islands Council and the
It is a category A building and was listed on 08/12/1971.
Group Items: N/A,
Group Cat: N/A,
Map Ref: HU 4790 4124.
Later 18th century, with later alteration. Picturesquely grouped house and stores built on lodberry, comprising single storey over concealed basement 3-bay range (former shop) to commercial street with 2-storey 3-bay house connected at right-angle to rear (N); 2-storey range (former sail loft and dry goods store at upper floor) with store and workshop at basement bounding W extent of complex, small flagged courtyard centred at N end of lodberry, 2-storey store (former wet fish store with meat and fishcuring "skeo" at upper floor) to NE corner. Harl-pointed random rubble walls.
FORMER SHOP: rebuilt circa 1950. Single storey, 3-bay concrete-block elevation to Commercial Street, door at centre with narrow window adjacent to left and wide window at right. W gable; single window to left at upper floor, stone steps with rubble wall at foot accessing Bain?s Beach and W sea door in wall extending to left from gable. E gable; single window centred at upper floor, adjoining timber gate (incorporating ship?s wheel) accessing stone steps from Commercial Street to basement entrance at right with vertically-boarded timber door.
HOUSE: 2-storey, 3-bay E elevation with entrance door offset to left of centre, windows in outer bays at ground and 1st floors; high random rubble wall fronting basement bay at right and enclosing flagged yard, segmental-arched E sea door in wall at outer right with timber hoist projecting above. N gable; door at basement and window at upper floor in bay to right, small louvered opening in gablehead; slated rubble lean-to at basement to left with door in E wall, W wall open at ground with flying buttress above supporting roof, and connecting fishcuring shed to house.
FORMER SAIL LOFT AND STORE: W elevation; single small basement (workshop) window to right. Blank N wall, timber-boarded gablehead with 3-pane fixed-light, main sea door with timber infill adjacent to left.
CURING SHED AND STORE: 3-bay N (seaward) elevation, single window centred at basement, rubble-infilled openings in bays at upper floor. W elevation; 4-panel door to right. Tall openings flanking centre of gables at upper floor, timber louvres; apex stack to W gable.
Variety of plate glass and 2 and 3-pane timber windows, latter with hoppers. Purple-grey slate roof with cast-iron gutters and downpipes. Stugged sandstone stacks to house, coped with circular cans. Concrete skew copes to house and range to Commercial Street.
SEA WALL AND NOOST: random rubble wall with stugged sandstone cope flanking house to E and W (Craigie Stane and Bain?s Beach). Partially flagged noost to Craigie Stane with concrete-coped rubble wall to N.
INTERIOR: basket-arched buffet recess in parlour with flanking fielded-panel doors. Flagged floors to basement.
Formerly known as Robertson?s Lodberry, it was named after Bailie John Robertson who was joint agent with Charles Merrylees for the North of Scotland and Orkney and Shetland Steam Navigation Company, who owned the neighbouring "steamer" storehouse at 18 Commercial Street (see separate listing). Although the (then ruinous) former shop to Commercial Street was rebuilt circa 1950 and there have been some minor changes to the fenestration, this complex remains a remarkably intact example of the commercial and domestic development of a lodberry. It is, however, most famous for the picturesque quality of the grouping, and as such is the most photographed building in Shetland.
Mike Finnie SHETLAND (1990) p14. Tom Henderson SHETLAND FROM OLD PHOTOGRAPHS (1978) plate 150. James W Irvine LERWICK (1985) plate 23. James R Nicolson LERWICK HARBOUR (1966) p16 and 187. NMRS Ref: SH/484/3 and 35. Thomas Manson LERWICK DURING THE LAST HALF CENTURY (1991) p137.
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