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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 4766 4129.


John James Burnet, 1904-6. 2-storey and attic, 7-bay near-symmetrical Wrenaissance bank. Polished red sandstone ashlar principal front; harled side and rear elevations; polished red sandstone ashlar dressings and details. Base course and stall-risers, cornice over shopfront articulated around porch and terminated at Ionic pilasters framing elevation, cill course at 1st floor, and deep mutuled timber cornice at eaves, articulated around central open pediment.

NE (COMMERCIAL STREET) ELEVATION: wide centre bay crowned by large semicircular open pediment, framed by panelled pilasters and fronted by canted stone porch at ground comprising architraved surround to 12-panel 4-leaf timber door with carved armorial panel in parapet above; Ionic columns flanking door, narrow windows with shouldered architraves in flanking faces. Tripartite window at 1st floor; keystone and shouldered architrave to French window at centre, margined flanking lights. Pilastered segmental-arched window in tympanum, bracketted and corniced cill and consoles supporting sub-pediment engaging principal cornice, carved strapwork flanking in tympanum. Stall-risers at ground in flanking bays (left stall-riser of lower height), architraved surround to 3-light pilastered windows engaging frieze above. Regular fenestration at 1st floor; margined windows, pilasters dividing bays with bracketted below cill course.

SE (HANGCLIFF LANE) ELEVATION: asymmetrical, 3 bays, centre bay slightly recessed, door at ground, window at 1st floor, tripartite window offset to right at 2nd floor in pedimented gable with flanking multi-flue wallhead stacks. Architraved window at 1st floor in bay at right, flat-roofed 2-storey wing advanced at bay to left; paired doors with short stylised balustrade terminating parapet to W; elevation curved down to dwarf wall fronting elevation at right, and surmounted by steel railing; railing terminated to E by panelled ashlar square pier with base and corniced cap.

NW ELEVATION: mirrored image of SE elevation but with round-arched window in gable, modern door at ground in bay to left, and bipartite window to left of door in wing advanced at right.

Modern glazing to windows at ground, 15-pane timber sash and case windows at 1st floor, 2-leaf glazed timber doors with 8-pane fanlight and 4-pane flanking lights to French door; 20-pane casement window in pediment. Purple-grey slate piended roof with finials terminating ridge, segmental-headed lead clad dormers with 16-pane timber sash and case windows. Tall harled stacks to end elevations and to W of centre bay, heavily corniced with circular cans.


The old Union Bank at 117 Commercial Street was built in 1873 by William Henderson, but completely destroyed by fire on the 9th May 1903. The bank moved to Ganson?s Building until 1906, by which time the construction of the new bank had been completed. A photograph of 1959 shows a chemist?s shop occupying the left hand side of the principal front. The shopfront appears to be inter-war, with a similar arrangement to the existing (low stall-riser) but with an entrance door in the centre bay. The window in the pediment is fronted by an Art Nouveau wrought-iron balcony, which is an essential part of the design. This building has all the qualities of other works by Burnet including the flamboyant use of familiar classical elements interwoven to an overall design strongly influenced by Beaux Arts and English architecture of the period, and executed in the best Arts and Crafts tradition of high quality workmanship and materials. Features particularly reminiscent of other Burnet works are the canted porch which strongly reflects the buffet recesses in his domestic work, and the open semicircular pediment, deep mutuled timber eaves, and pendant swags at the capitals. As always, Burnet responds to the location by producing a building of the first quality, and combines perfectly his lively design ability with the classical severity and scale of a provincial bank.


Aurora YESC, DA STREET (1994). Mike Finnie SHETLAND (1990), p16. Tom Henderson SHETLAND FROM OLD PHOTOGRAPHS (1978) plate 164. James W Irvine LERWICK (1985) p177. John Gifford HIGHLANDS AND ISLANDS (1992) p494. NMRS Ref: SH/480/20 and 21, SH/552.

© 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).