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- Category: B
- Date Added: 08/12/1971
- Local Authority: Shetland Islands
- Planning Authority: Shetland Islands
- Burgh: Lerwick
National Grid Reference
- NGR: HU 47819 41278
- Coordinates: 447819, 1141278
1767-70 with late 19th and early 20th century alterations. 2-storey over laigh floor, 5-bay symmetrical former town house of rectangular plan on sloping site. Cement-rendered walls (lined to principal front) with sandstone ashlar dressings and details; 2-storey stugged sandstone extension, droved at arrises, projecting at rear. Band course at 1st floor, cavetto-moulded eaves cornice, long and short rusticated quoins framing elevations, some window margins surviving.
S (PRINCIPAL) ELEVATION: symmetrical, 2-leaf vertically-boarded timber entrance door with 2-pane fanlight above centred at ground, approached by modern ramp, windows flanking centre bay, regular fenestration at 1st floor.
W ELEVATION: 2-bay near-symmetrical gable, regular fenestration, harled concrete stair to modern door inserted at principal floor in bay to left, blind windows at 1st floor.
N (REAR) ELEVATION: symmetrical, 3 widely spaced bays to original elevation fronted by single-storey over basement 4-bay extension with curved corners corbelled out to square at floor above. Shop windows in each bay at ground, doors between bays, centre door partially infilled with glazed upper, 6-panel 2-leaf timber doors in penultimate bays to left and right; regular fenestration at floors above.
E ELEVATION: 2-bay near symmetrical gable, vertically-boarded timber basement door with 6-pane upper at outer right, regular fenestration to floors above, blind window at 1st floor in bay to right.
2-pane fixed-lights to shop windows, 4-pane timber sash and case windows elsewhere. Purple-grey slate roof with cast-iron gutters and downpipes. Harled and margined apex stacks, coped with circular cans, stugged sandstone wallhead stacks to sides of extension, corniced with circular and octagonal cans. Cement-rendered ashlar skew copes with scrolled skewputts.
Statement of Special Interest
Built on the site of a 17th century predecessor, MacGibbon and Ross visited this building in 1892, and commented that "the style of the seventeenth century took a considerable time to reach the Shetlands". Their view shows it complete with clock tower (removed in 1927) and a stone stair accessing the architraved and corniced entrance door which is strikingly similar to that erected in the courtyard at Lochend House (see separate listing). A photograph by George Washington Wilson shows the rear elevation before being added to. After construction of the Town Hall, the Tolbooth served as Lerwick Post Office until 1910. Removal of the clock tower was a sad loss for the harbour and town skyline. Its re-instatement might encourage a serious look at restoring this important building's hidden qualities.
Aurora YESC, DA STREET (1994). Mike Finnie SHETLAND (1990), p13. Tom Henderson SHETLAND FROM OLD PHOTOGRAPHS (1978) plates 45 and 48. James W Irvine LERWICK (1985) p37 and 51 plate 26. E J F Clausen and T M Y Manson 150TH ANNIVERSARY OF LERWICK PARISH CHURCH (1979) p17. Norman Hudson SOUVENIR POSTCARDS FROM SHETLAND (1992) p13. John Gifford HIGHLANDS AND ISLANDS (1992) p494. Thomas Manson LERWICK DURING THE LAST HALF CENTURY (1991) p134 plates 2 and 3.
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