Listed Building

The legal part of the listing is the address/name of site only. All other information in the record is not statutory.

WHALSAY, SYMBISTER, HARBOUR VIEW (FORMERLY BREMEN BOOTH), INCLUDING GARDEN AND RETAINING WALLS, AND OUTBUILDINGLB18594

Status: Designated

Documents

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Summary

Category
C
Date Added
18/10/1977
Local Authority
Shetland Islands
Planning Authority
Shetland Islands
Parish
Nesting
NGR
HU 53946 62410
Coordinates
453946, 1162410

Description

Possibly 1563, incorporated in 18th century rebuilding, with 19th century alteration. Single storey over laigh floor 5-bay asymmetrical former trading booth and house. Harled and lined walls with painted margins to doors and windows. Projecting cills to windows.

E (HARBOUR) ELEVATION: asymmetrical, small windows at laigh floor in centre and outer bays, vertically-boarded timber doors off-set to left in bays flanking centre; regular fenestration at principal floor in centre and outer bays, square window in bay to left of centre and blank bay to right of centre.

S GABLE: single window to right at principal floor.

W (REAR) ELEVATION: laigh floor concealed; small window to left of centre at principal floor, gabled entrance porch with lean-to addition to right of centre.

N GABLE: single storey cement-rendered mono-pitch addition at intermediate level.

Modern glazing throughout. Purple-grey slate roof with concrete skew copes. Harled gablehead stacks, coped, with circular cans to N stack.

GARDEN AND RETAINING WALLS: random rubble walls enclosing garden extending around dock to NE; single storey rubble mono-pitch outbuilding adjoining N wall. Retaining wall aligned with E elevation adjoining modern harled and coped wall to road at S, bounding S side of triangular E garden.

Statement of Special Interest

It is thought that the laigh floor was originally the booth occupied by Herman Schroder in 1563 when it was attacked and destroyed by pirates. The Hanseatic heritage of this building was formerly marked by the naming of the brae to the rear as Bremer Strasse. The Hanseatic League was a trading body of merchants and shipowners centred on Lubeck, operating from Russia to Portugal, whose influence peaked in the 14th century. In Shetland, Hansa trade lasted 500 years, first by way of the League's 'Kontor' in Bergen, then as illicit trade became the norm, direct with Hamburg and Bremen. Stockfish (dried and salted cod and ling) was exported, and luxury goods imported. The Germans retained their trading by extending credit from one season to the next. A decline in activities at the end of the 17th century came about by the emergence of Scottish merchants and then local merchant-lairds, famine, disease, and war when the French plundered German ships. The final demise was the 1707 Act of Union which favoured local commercial activity. The historic importance of this building is often ignored in favour of the nearby pier house, which is sometimes mistakenly referred to as the Bremen Booth. It is more likely that the importance of the pier house was as a building which served this building and its harbour. It seems probable that the original building was a traditional single storey and attic trading booth of the 18th century, perhaps incorporating earlier fabric, until the wallhead was raised in the earlier 19th century to give a 2-storey W elevation. A drawing of 1988 shows it with lying-pane timber sash and case glazing in the principal floor windows, which may well be survivals from earlier 19th century alterations. Although the building?s principal importance is the visual and historic links with the neighbouring dock and pier house, loss of the original glazing has significantly marred the character of the building and its surroundings.

References

Bibliography

John Gifford HIGHLANDS AND ISLANDS (1992) p516. Mike Finnie SHETLAND (1990) p80.

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 statutory listing address is the legal part of the listing. 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.

Listing covers both the exterior and the interior. Listing can cover structures not mentioned 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. For information about curtilage see www.historicenvironment.scot. 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.

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