Listed Building

The only legal part of the listing is the address/name of site. Addresses and building names may have changed since the date of listing – see ‘About Listed Buildings’ below for more information.


Status: Designated


There are no additional online documents for this record.


Date Added
Local Authority
Shetland Islands
Planning Authority
Shetland Islands
HU 55511 65489
455511, 1165489


1733, with remodelling of 1867. Symmetrical T-plan kirk comprising 4 x 1-bay galleried hall with 2-storey wing containing aisle and laird?s loft centred to N (rear). Harl-pointed rubble walls with stugged and droved sandstone ashlar dressings. Projecting cills to windows.

S ELEVATION: symmetrical, tall principal windows with high cills in bays flanking centre, smaller windows with lower cills flanking in outer bays.

W (ENTRANCE) GABLE: round-arched door centred at ground with modern timber door and plate glass fanlight in arch-head; window centred in gablehead surmounted by (19th century) plain polished ashlar pointed-arched bellcote.

N (REAR) ELEVATION: gabled aisle and lairds loft advanced at centre with loft stair and window adjacent to right re-entrant angle and matching window to left fronted by memorial enclosure to Alexander Shand in re-entrant angle. 2-leaf wide-boarded and studded door to segmental-arched opening centred in N gable of aisle; small window at 1st floor adjacent to re-entrant angle of E side; harl-pointed rubble forestair with sandstone cope and steps rising to vertically-boarded timber door adjacent to re-entrant angle of W side with small window to left.

E GABLE: cement-rendered infill (dated 1968) to central segmental-arched former doorway; window centred in gablehead above with cill dated 1767.

Timber sash and case windows, predominantly 12-pane, with 18-pane glazing flanking centre of S elevation and 8-pane glazing to aisle. Modern grey tile roof, piended to S end of aisle, with stugged sandstone ashlar skew-copes. Rubble gablehead stack with stone cope to aisle.

INTERIOR: mid 19th century timber fittings surviving including vertically-boarded wainscoting, horizontally-boarded pews, loft, gallery, and canted and panelled pulpit with sounding board centring E wall accessed by stair on N side.

BOUNDARY WALLS AND GATEPIERS: harl-pointed rubble wall enclosing kirkyard, extended to W and N by (well-built) modern wall with semicircular concrete cope. Rubble-infilled opening to S wall, centred opposite S elevation of kirk; crude cement-rendered and lined square entrance gatepiers to W, with pyramidal caps and wrought-iron gate with medallions.

Statement of Special Interest

In ecclesiastical use. Presiding over the North Ness, this kirk occupies the site of an earlier church, and appears to be similar in layout to Old Olnafirth Kirk at Voe, Delting (now ruinous). Prior to the 19th century reorganisation, Whalsay Kirk seems to have conformed to the standard Shetland layout of a simple gabled rectangle with arched doors in the gables, and galleried interior with the pulpit probably sited between the central windows of the S elevation. The N wing contains at tunnel-vaulted burial place at ground floor with vestry above.



John Gifford HIGHLANDS AND ISLANDS (1992) p516. Mike Finnie SHETLAND (1990) p81.

About Listed Buildings

Listing is the way that a building or structure of special architectural or historic interest is recognised by law through the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997.

We list buildings of special architectural or historic interest using the criteria published in the Historic Environment Scotland Policy Statement.

The information in the listed building record gives an indication of the special architectural or historic interest of the listed building(s). It is not a definitive historical account or a complete description of the building(s). The format of the listed building record has changed over time. Earlier records may be brief and some information will not have been recorded.

The only legal part of the listing is the address/name of site. Addresses and building names may have changed since the date of listing and if a number or name is missing from a listing address it may still be listed. Listing covers both the exterior and the interior and any object or structure fixed to the building. Listing can also cover structures not physically attached but which are part of the curtilage of the building, such as boundary walls, gates, gatepiers, ancillary buildings etc. The planning authority is responsible for advising on what is covered by the listing including the curtilage of a listed building. Since 1 October 2015 we have been able to exclude items from a listing. If part of a building is not listed, it will say that it is excluded in the statutory address and in the statement of special interest in the listed building record. The statement will use the word 'excluding' and quote the relevant section of the Historic Environment Scotland Act 2014. Some earlier listed building records may use the word 'excluding', but if the Act is not quoted, the record has not been revised to reflect current legislation.

If you want to alter, extend or demolish a listed building you need to contact your planning authority to see if you need listed building consent. The planning authority advises on the need for listed building consent and they also decide what a listing covers. The planning authority is the main point of contact for all applications for listed building consent.

Find out more about listing and our other designations at You can contact us on 0131 668 8716 or at


There are no images available for this record, you may want to check Canmore for images relating to WHALSAY, KIRK NESS, WHALSAY KIRK, INCLUDING BOUNDARY WALLS AND GATEPIERS

There are no images available for this record.

Search Canmore

Printed: 18/03/2019 13:40