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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: 18/10/1977


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

National Grid Reference

  • NGRHU 48036 40895
  • Coordinates448036, 1140895


William Smith of Aberdeen, 1860-1, with alterations, 1924. 2-storey asymmetrical Tudor school with French Baronial details, comprising 4-bay centre block with 2-stage entrance tower; flanking single storey and attic wings, 4-bay wing to left (S), 5-bay wing at right (N) with 2-stage tower in re-entrant angle. Harl-pointed stugged rubble walls with droved sandstone ashlar dressings and details. Base course, chamfered arrises and sloping cills to windows.

NE (PRINCIPAL) ELEVATION: asymmetrical, 4 bays with gabled bays to outer right and left. Bay to left; 2-storey 3-light gothic traceried canted oriel, with heavily corbelled base, lintel course and cornice above; engaged octagonal shaft surmounted by ball finial at gablehead. PRINCIPAL TOWER: open at ground; stone steps accessing concrete-covered platt, vertically-boarded timber entrance door with plate glass fanlight above. Base course, buttressed N corner, band course at 1st floor, string course, machicolated cornice and blocking course at eaves. NE face; pointed-arch opening at ground, polished pink granite plaque (see notes) inset above with hoodmould over; blank panel inset in band course above, circular clock face set in square frame centred at upper stage. NW face; pointed-arch opening at ground, hoodmoulded window above, 2 narrow windows at upper stage. Pointed-arch 3-light window in bay to right, 3-light window at 1st floor, gabled dormer breaking eaves with shield carving in gablehead and ball finial at apex. Bay to outer right slightly advanced; 4-light canted bay with battered base course and crenellated parapet, hoodmoulded window at 1st floor in crowstepped gable with fleur-de-lys finial at apex.

NW ELEVATION: N wing advanced at right, 2-stage tower in re-entrant angle to left; square lower stage with pointed-arch door (with stone steps) and window at ground floor faces, narrow windows in octagonal upper stage, string course and dentilled cornice at eaves. 2 closely- spaced bays immediately to left, blind basement window in left bay, adjoining gabled dormerheads breaking eaves.

SE ELEVATION: S wing advanced at left, gabled entrance porch with stone steps and pointed-arched door in re-entrant angle to right. Large window with gothic tracery adjacent to right.

SW (REAR) ELEVATION: 2-storey, 2-bay gable at outer right with 2-storey addition advanced at left.

N WING: single storey and attic, 5-bay principal (NE) elevation, symmetrical except for tower in bay to outer left; regular fenestration in bays to right with pointed-arch windows at ground and gabled dormers breaking eaves. 2-bay (NW) gable end; pointed-arched windows at ground, chimneybreast corbelled out at 1st floor. Regularly fenestrated rear elevation except for centre bay blank at ground and stair window at intermediate level in bay to outer right, gabled dormers breaking eaves.

S WING: single storey and attic, 4-bay principal (NE) elevation, symmetrical except for porch in bay to outer right; vertically-boarded timber door with plate glass fanlight above; regular fenestration in bays to left with pointed-arch windows at ground and gabled dormers breaking eaves. Gable matching N wing. Regularly fenestrated rear elevation except for blank at ground in inner left bay, gabled dormers breaking eaves.

4-pane and plate glass timber sash and case windows with timber mullions to most openings; multi-pane timber sash and case windows at ground floor of rear elevation and later addition. Multi-pane mullioned windows with cusped lower lights to library and entrance porch (leaded glazing). Grey slate roofs to main block, wings and dormers, cast-iron gutters and downpipes with hoppers. Bell-cast square pyramidal roof with cast-iron brattishing around platform to principal tower, bell-cast octagonal pyramidal roof with finial to N tower, roof of addition piended to S, lead roof to oriel. Polished ashlar stacks, each with string course, corniced cope and octagonal cans; incised vertical channelling to principal 4-flue stack.

INTERIOR: vertically-boarded timber wainscoting throughout, panelled doors with 6-pane glazed uppers. Galleried hall, timber balustrade with turned spindles at 1st floor, pyramidal cupola over, doors off gallery set in pointed-arch recesses. Timber staircases with turned spindles and ball finials to newels. Hammerbeam roof to library, hammerbeams and hammerposts decorated with bosses, wall-posts bearing on semi-octagonal corbels.

BOUNDARY WALLS: random rubble boundary walls with ashlar cope to N and S. Stugged ashlar dwarf wall to Twageos Road with ogee ashlar cope and cast-iron railing above; wall terminated to N and S by square ashlar piers with pyramidal caps; square ashlar gatepiers (currently dismantled 1995) with pyramidal caps. Random rubble retaining wall with ashlar cope immediately to rear of N wing.

Statement of Special Interest

The granite plaque over the entrance arch reads "Educational Institute erected and founded by Arthur Anderson A D 1860". Anderson was born at Gremista, and after a starting his career in the Royal Navy, he co-founded the Peninsular & Orient Steam Navigation Company with Brodie McGhie Willcox. Concerned for the conditions of the Shetland people, Anderson served as Member of Parliament for Orkney and Shetland from 1847 to 1852. The school was designed by the architect of Balmoral Castle, its motto "Doe weel and persevere" were the parting words of Thomas Bolt when the Anderson left Shetland to join the Navy in 1808. This building is a striking feature of Lerwick?s skyline, particularly when arriving by sea. It has been compromised somewhat by the erection of temporary classrooms adjacent to the principal front, but historically, it remains Lerwick?s most important 19th century building.



Mike Finnie SHETLAND (1990), p32. Bod of Gremista Management Committee THE BOD OF GREMISTA (1989). James W Irvine LERWICK (1985) p126, 216, plate 42. John Gifford HIGHLANDS AND ISLANDS (1992) p489. Thomas Manson LERWICK DURING THE LAST HALF CENTURY (1991) p142 plate 16. Groome?s GAZETTEER p499.

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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