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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: C
  • Date Added: 12/08/1996


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

National Grid Reference

  • NGRHU 47513 41418
  • Coordinates447513, 1141418


1884-5. 2-storey, 3-bay asymmetrical Scots Baronial house (now offices) of L-plan with wings projecting to rear. Stugged and cherry-cocked Hildasay granite walls with droved sandstone ashlar dressings and details. Base course, chamfered arrises at windows. Crowstepped gables and dormerheads.

E (ENTRANCE) ELEVATION: asymmetrical; right bay advanced and gabled; 2-storey, 3-light canted window with string and cills courses, and crenellated parapet; window centred in gablehead above. Square plan single storey porch with crenellated parapet in re-entrant angle (centre bay); accessed by stone steps with flanking cast-iron lamp standards (with modern lamps) on square and octagonal stone bases; 4-panel timber entrance door with plate glass fanlight above; 12-pane fixed-light in side elevation; bipartite dormer window at 1st floor breaking eaves in crowstepped stone dormerhead. Bipartite windows at ground and 1st floor in bay to left, dormered 1st floor window matching centre bay.

S ELEVATION: gable end of principal elevation with window centred at ground, and at ground and 1st floors to outer left.

W (REAR) ELEVATION: windows at ground and 1st floors in bay to outer right; 1st floor breaking eaves in crowstepped stone dormerhead. Gabled wing advanced at left, partially obscured at left by modern addition, window centred at ground, 1st floor window offset to right, small window centred in gablehead.

N ELEVATION: 4-bay near-symmetrical elevation; centre bays closely spaced in slightly advanced chimneygable with blank plaque in gablehead. Blank in bay to outer right. Modern addition slightly recessed and extending to right. Windows at ground and 1st floors in bay to outer left, 1st floor window breaking eaves in crowstepped stone dormerhead.

Plate glass timber sash and case windows. Purple-grey slate roof with modern metal gutters and downpipes with hoppers. Stugged ashlar apex stacks to N and S gables, both coped with octagonal cans.

BOUNDARY WALLS AND GATEPIERS: random rubble boundary walls with concrete cope to N, E, and S. Stugged and droved square gatepiers to NW gate; corniced gablet caps. Matching gatepiers to pedestrian gate at NE and S entrance gate.

Statement of Special Interest

Lystina House was built for the prominent merchant, George Reid Tait. In his book, Manson refers to it as "breaking away from the conventional ideas of house building which had prevailed in Lerwick so long. Standing entirely in its own grounds, surrounded by broad walks, and having a splendid sea view, Lystina House is a fine example of what a private house should be". The modern addition to the W has been well designed so that the character of the building has not been compromised. The N gable provides a striking end piece when looking S along Market Street.



Mike Finnie SHETLAND (1990) p27. James W Irvine LERWICK (1985) p179. Thomas Manson LERWICK DURING THE LAST HALF CENTURY (1991) p220.

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.

Find out more about listing and our other designations at