FREEFIELD, HAY'S DOCK AND STOREHOUSE (Ref:37261)
This building is in the Shetland Islands Council and the
It is a category B building and was listed on 18/10/1977.
Group Items: N/A,
Group Cat: N/A,
Map Ref: HU 4722 4182.
HAY'S DOCK: circa 1825. Irregularly shaped dock enclosed by piers to N (with curved E end and storehouse) and E flanking entrance to E. Large stugged sandstone blocks to quay walls and some surfaces with stone and cast-iron bollards and mooring rings, iron cramps between copestones. Slip to S with stepped sides and concrete covered ramp. STOREHOUSE: early 19th century. Gabled former storehouse of rectangular plan. Stugged sandstone rubble walls, cherry-caulked with stugged sandstone dressings. Chamfered corners corbelled out to square at 1st floor. Currently (1995) roofless.S ELEVATION: asymmetrical; small rectangular window with iron bars centring elevation; slit window to right, recess with stone mooring bollard at ground to left with small square opening above; rubble infilled door to outer left. W ELEVATION: gable end; wide door centred at ground with loading door at 1st floor rising into gablehead.N ELEVATION: blank.E ELEVATION: mirrored image of W elevation, but with narrower door at ground.
The firm of Hay and Ogilvy collapsed in 1842 due to decline in the herring boom and damage to their fishing fleet in a gale. The collapse resulted in the establishment of Hay & Co in 1844 when William Hay joined forces with his sons, William and Charles. They originally worked from premises in Commercial Street, but William applied for new premises at Freefield, and by 1845 it was one of the busiest spots in Lerwick. The company caught, cured, bought, and exported fish on a very large scale, and was actively involved in the whaling industry. It also built and repaired ships and sold goods wholesale and retail including the Welsh roofing slate that can now be seen throughout Shetland. A photograph of 1930 shows the dock with the storehouse roofed.
Mike Finnie SHETLAND (1990) p22. James W Irvine LERWICK (1985) plate 56. James R Nicolson LERWICK HARBOUR (1966) p11. James R Nicolson HAY & COMPANY (1982) p5. John Gifford HIGHLANDS AND ISLANDS (1992) p492. Thomas Manson LERWICK DURING THE LAST HALF CENTURY (1991) p112.
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