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This building is in the Shetland Islands Council and the Lerwick Burgh. It is a category B building and was listed on 08/12/1971.

Group Items: N/A, Group Cat: N/A, Map Ref: HU 4781 4127.


1767-70 with late 19th and early 20th century alterations. 2-storey over laigh floor, 5-bay symmetrical former town house of rectangular plan on sloping site. Cement-rendered walls (lined to principal front) with sandstone ashlar dressings and details; 2-storey stugged sandstone extension, droved at arrises, projecting at rear. Band course at 1st floor, cavetto-moulded eaves cornice, long and short rusticated quoins framing elevations, some window margins surviving.

S (PRINCIPAL) ELEVATION: symmetrical, 2-leaf vertically-boarded timber entrance door with 2-pane fanlight above centred at ground, approached by modern ramp, windows flanking centre bay, regular fenestration at 1st floor.

W ELEVATION: 2-bay near-symmetrical gable, regular fenestration, harled concrete stair to modern door inserted at principal floor in bay to left, blind windows at 1st floor.

N (REAR) ELEVATION: symmetrical, 3 widely spaced bays to original elevation fronted by single-storey over basement 4-bay extension with curved corners corbelled out to square at floor above. Shop windows in each bay at ground, doors between bays, centre door partially infilled with glazed upper, 6-panel 2-leaf timber doors in penultimate bays to left and right; regular fenestration at floors above.

E ELEVATION: 2-bay near symmetrical gable, vertically-boarded timber basement door with 6-pane upper at outer right, regular fenestration to floors above, blind window at 1st floor in bay to right.

2-pane fixed-lights to shop windows, 4-pane timber sash and case windows elsewhere. Purple-grey slate roof with cast-iron gutters and downpipes. Harled and margined apex stacks, coped with circular cans, stugged sandstone wallhead stacks to sides of extension, corniced with circular and octagonal cans. Cement-rendered ashlar skew copes with scrolled skewputts.


Built on the site of a 17th century predecessor, MacGibbon and Ross visited this building in 1892, and commented that "the style of the seventeenth century took a considerable time to reach the Shetlands". Their view shows it complete with clock tower (removed in 1927) and a stone stair accessing the architraved and corniced entrance door which is strikingly similar to that erected in the courtyard at Lochend House (see separate listing). A photograph by George Washington Wilson shows the rear elevation before being added to. After construction of the Town Hall, the Tolbooth served as Lerwick Post Office until 1910. Removal of the clock tower was a sad loss for the harbour and town skyline. Its re-instatement might encourage a serious look at restoring this important building's hidden qualities.


Aurora YESC, DA STREET (1994). Mike Finnie SHETLAND (1990), p13. Tom Henderson SHETLAND FROM OLD PHOTOGRAPHS (1978) plates 45 and 48. James W Irvine LERWICK (1985) p37 and 51 plate 26. E J F Clausen and T M Y Manson 150TH ANNIVERSARY OF LERWICK PARISH CHURCH (1979) p17. Norman Hudson SOUVENIR POSTCARDS FROM SHETLAND (1992) p13. John Gifford HIGHLANDS AND ISLANDS (1992) p494. Thomas Manson LERWICK DURING THE LAST HALF CENTURY (1991) p134 plates 2 and 3.

© Crown copyright, Historic Scotland. All rights reserved. Mapping information derived from Ordnance Survey digital mapping products under Licence No. 100017509 2012 . Data extracted from Scottish Ministers' Statutory List on . Listing applies equally to the whole building or structure at the address set out in bold at the top of the list entry. This includes both the exterior and the interior, whether or not they are mentioned in the 'Information Supplementary to the Statutory List'. Listed building consent is required for all internal and external works affecting the character of the building. The local planning authority is responsible for determining where listed building consent will be required and can also advise on issues of extent or "curtilage" of the listing, which may cover items remote from the main subject of the listing such as boundary walls, gates, gatepiers, ancillary buildings etc. or interior fixtures. All category C(S) listings were revised to category C on 3rd September 2012. This was a non-statutory change. All enquiries relating to proposed works to a listed building or its setting should be addressed to the local planning authority in the first instance. All other enquiries should be addressed to: Listing & Designed Landscapes Team, Historic Scotland, Room G.51, Longmore House, Salisbury Place, EDINBURGH, EH9 1SH. Tel: +44 (0)131 668 8701 / 8705. Fax: +44 (0)131 668 8765. e-mail: hs.listing@scotland.gsi.gov.uk. Web: http://www.historic-scotland.gov.uk/historicandlistedbuildings.

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Buildings are assigned to one of three categories according to their relative importance. All listed buildings receive equal legal protection, and protection applies equally to the interior and exterior of all listed buildings regardless of category.

ACategory A

Buildings of national or international importance, either architectural or historic, or fine little-altered examples of some particular period, style or building type. (Approximately 8% of the total).

BCategory B

Buildings of regional or more than local importance, or major examples of some particular period, style or building type which may have been altered. (Approximately 51% of the total).

C(S)Category C(S)

Buildings of local importance, lesser examples of any period, style, or building type, as originally constructed or moderately altered; and simple traditional buildings which group well with others in categories A and B. (Approximately 41% of the total).