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This building is in the Shetland Islands Council and the Lerwick Burgh. It is a category C building and was listed on 12/08/1996.

Group Items: N/A, Group Cat: N/A, Map Ref: HU 4751 4141.


1884-5. 2-storey, 3-bay asymmetrical Scots Baronial house (now offices) of L-plan with wings projecting to rear. Stugged and cherry-cocked Hildasay granite walls with droved sandstone ashlar dressings and details. Base course, chamfered arrises at windows. Crowstepped gables and dormerheads.

E (ENTRANCE) ELEVATION: asymmetrical; right bay advanced and gabled; 2-storey, 3-light canted window with string and cills courses, and crenellated parapet; window centred in gablehead above. Square plan single storey porch with crenellated parapet in re-entrant angle (centre bay); accessed by stone steps with flanking cast-iron lamp standards (with modern lamps) on square and octagonal stone bases; 4-panel timber entrance door with plate glass fanlight above; 12-pane fixed-light in side elevation; bipartite dormer window at 1st floor breaking eaves in crowstepped stone dormerhead. Bipartite windows at ground and 1st floor in bay to left, dormered 1st floor window matching centre bay.

S ELEVATION: gable end of principal elevation with window centred at ground, and at ground and 1st floors to outer left.

W (REAR) ELEVATION: windows at ground and 1st floors in bay to outer right; 1st floor breaking eaves in crowstepped stone dormerhead. Gabled wing advanced at left, partially obscured at left by modern addition, window centred at ground, 1st floor window offset to right, small window centred in gablehead.

N ELEVATION: 4-bay near-symmetrical elevation; centre bays closely spaced in slightly advanced chimneygable with blank plaque in gablehead. Blank in bay to outer right. Modern addition slightly recessed and extending to right. Windows at ground and 1st floors in bay to outer left, 1st floor window breaking eaves in crowstepped stone dormerhead.

Plate glass timber sash and case windows. Purple-grey slate roof with modern metal gutters and downpipes with hoppers. Stugged ashlar apex stacks to N and S gables, both coped with octagonal cans.

BOUNDARY WALLS AND GATEPIERS: random rubble boundary walls with concrete cope to N, E, and S. Stugged and droved square gatepiers to NW gate; corniced gablet caps. Matching gatepiers to pedestrian gate at NE and S entrance gate.


Lystina House was built for the prominent merchant, George Reid Tait. In his book, Manson refers to it as "breaking away from the conventional ideas of house building which had prevailed in Lerwick so long. Standing entirely in its own grounds, surrounded by broad walks, and having a splendid sea view, Lystina House is a fine example of what a private house should be". The modern addition to the W has been well designed so that the character of the building has not been compromised. The N gable provides a striking end piece when looking S along Market Street.


Mike Finnie SHETLAND (1990) p27. James W Irvine LERWICK (1985) p179. Thomas Manson LERWICK DURING THE LAST HALF CENTURY (1991) p220.

© 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).