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Listed Building

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


Status: Designated


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  • Category: B
  • Date Added: 08/12/1971


  • Local Authority: Shetland Islands
  • Planning Authority: Shetland Islands
  • Burgh: Lerwick

National Grid Reference

  • NGRHU 47850 41263
  • Coordinates447850, 1141263


Loberries of circa 1800, with early 19th century house and warehouse incorporated in hotel complex comprising mid 19th century 3-storey and attic over concealed basement, 3-bay principal block extended by 3 bays in 1868, to Commercial Street with flanking 2-storey over concealed basement and 2-storey and attic gabled wings projecting to rear (seaward) at W and E ends respectively, 2-storey gabled wing centred in flagged courtyard between giving approximate E-plan. Harl-pointed stugged sandstone rubble walls with stugged and droved ashlar dressings, some cement-rendered. Margined corners, eaves cornice, and projecting cills at windows.

PRINCIPAL BLOCK: SW (COMMERCIAL STREET) ELEVATION: 3-storey 6-bay elevation (grouped 3-3), with margin at centre. Bays to left; 6-panel glazed entrance door with fanlight centred at ground, channelled jambs and corniced lintel, 3 windows closely spaced in bay to left, regular fenestration at 1st and 2nd floors. Bays at right; modern harled escape stair tower obscuring centre and right bays, modern porch obscuring left bay at ground floor.

NW ELEVATION: 2-bay gable end of principal elevation; ashlar-coped rubble wall bounding basement area, ashlar stair with wrought-iron handrail oversailing (to No 30), window in left bay at principal floor, blank at 2nd floor, small attic window to right in gablehead.

NE (SEAWARD) ELEVATION: 6-bay asymmetrical elevation (grouped 3-3), with margin at centre; basement and principal floors obscured by later additions, regularly fenestrated bays to left, irregular to right.

SE ELEVATION: principal and 1st floors obscured by E wing, single window to left at 2nd floor.

W WING (LIFEBOAT STATION): NW (CHURCH LANE) ELEVATION: 2-storey, 2-bay (widely spaced) asymmetrical elevation. Wide doorway to left and window to right at ground in bay to left, door at ground in bay to right with window at right.

NE ELEVATION: 2-bay gable end with windows at principal floor and attic.

SE (COURTYARD ELEVATION: 2 widely spaced-windows with modern glazing at principal floor.

E WING: SW (COMMERCIAL STREET) ELEVATION: 2-storey elevation, 3 closely-spaced bays, blank bay to right at ground, blind window centred at 1st floor.

SE ELEVATION: 2-storey over basement, 5-bay asymmetrical elevation; variety of window sizes at basement, cantilevered stone walkway (railing now absent) at principal floor, regular fenestration, infilled door to left of 4th bay, 1st floor; blank at bay to outer left, window at 4th bay offset to left, bipartite window at bay to outer right.

NE (SEAWARD) ELEVATION: 3-bay gable, blank at basement and in centre bay at principal floor, regular fenestration at 1st floor.

CENTRE WING: bipartite window centred at principal floor in seaward gable, small basement window offset to right; extensions to E and W, latter flat-roofed with round-arched window. Crenellated cement-rendered and lined sea wall enclosing courtyard to E, basket-arched, margined opening with steps and timber door at centre, rubble sea wall enclosing courtyard To W.

Timber sash and case windows, 4-pane to most openings, single 12-pane window surviving at principal front, some plate glass and multi-pane pattern to secondary windows, bar, and lifeboat station. Purple-grey slate roof with cast-iron gutters and downpipes. Piend-roofed, slate-hung, canted timber dormers to N pitch of principal block, 4-pane timber sash and case windows with plate glass sidelights. Stugged and droved ashlar stacks; 3 multi-flue apex stacks to principal block, wallhead stack to N elevation, apex and wallhead stacks to E wing, stack centring lifeboat station ridge, all coped with circular cans. Ashlar skew copes.

Statement of Special Interest

The Queen?s Hotel is built on the site of 3 loberries, the NW end belonging to a Peter Innes. James Hay bought the property after the death of Innes, and in 1804 built a dwelling house, warehouse and jetty on the seaward side of Commercial Street which remained the headquarters of Hay & Co. until 1845. At the E end was Yeats? lodberry, and by 1848, John Henry, Leather Merchant, had built a substantial house. After Henry emigrated to Australia, the house was bought by the Hay family and became a hotel in the early 1860s after which it was considerably enlarged. Part of the premises remained Hay & Co?s offices, and the Queen?s Hotel Bar was originally sited in the Lifeboat Station. Old photographs show the Commercial Street elevation with a stugged ashlar porch flanked by railings adjacent to the re-entrant angle. The thick concrete wall at the NE corner was erected in 1915 by J M Aitken, and is a reminder of the conflict between the Harbour Trust and the hotel proprietor when it was discovered that backwash from the newly built breakwater was undermining the building.

The dominant scale of the Queen?s Hotel creates an exciting focus at this point in Commercial Street, particularly when viewed from the W. Its main contribution to the townscape, however, is the view from the sea, when the spectacular massing of the impressive rear elevation rising above the wings can really be appreciated.



E S Reid Tait A LERWICK MISCELLANY (1955), p4. Mike Finnie SHETLAND (1990), p13. Aurora YESC, DA STREET (1994). Tom Henderson SHETLAND FROM OLD PHOTOGRAPHS (1978) plate 45. James W Irvine LERWICK (1985) plates 14 and 26. Norman Hudson SOUVENIR POSTCARDS FROM SHETLAND (1992) p12 and 120. James R Nicolson LERWICK HARBOUR (1966) p17 and 187. John Gifford HIGHLANDS AND ISLANDS (1992) p494. Thomas Manson LERWICK DURING THE LAST HALF CENTURY (1991) p135 plates 1, 2 and 3.

About Designations

Listed Buildings

We list buildings of special architectural or historic interest and these are selected according to criteria published in the, Annex 2, pp74-76.

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.

Enquiries relating to works to listed buildings should be made to the local authority in the first instance. Listed building consent is required for works which a local authority considers will affect its character as a building of special architectural or historic interest and local authorities also decide if listed building consent is required.

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 local authority is responsible for advising on what is covered by the listing including the curtilage of a listed building. For information about curtilage see

Legislation introduced on 1 October 2015 allows us to state that: an object or structure fixed to the listed building; any object or structure within the curtilage of the listed building; and, any part or feature of the listed building that is not of architectural or historic interest may be excluded from a listing. If part of your building is not listed under the new legislation, the part will be excluded in the statutory address and in the statement of special interest. 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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