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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 47748 41133
  • Coordinates447748, 1141133


William Henderson of Aberdeen 1848-50. 3 x 3-bay symmetrical gothic former hall church of rectangular plan with concealed basement, and modern addition to N. Droved ashlar principal front and stugged sandstone side elevations. Projecting cills and chamfered reveals to pointed-arched windows.

S (ENTRANCE) GABLE: entrance door centred at ground; 2-leaf vertically-boarded timber door with 5-pane radial fanlight in 3-centred arch-head above. Pointed-arched window above, segmental-arched recess containing datestone with carved tree in gablehead. Gablehead surmounted by gabled ashlar bellcote with pointed-arched opening containing bell. Buttresses with crocketted finials framing centre bay, tall pointed-arched windows in outer bays.

SIDE (E AND W) ELEVATIONS: tall pointed-arched windows in evenly-spaced bays, rectangular basement windows in outer bays.

13-pane gothic traceried fixed-light in centre bay of S elevation, 6-pane timber fixed-lights elsewhere, some with hoppers. Purple-grey slate roof with ventilator plinth centring ridge, cast-iron gutters and downpipes with hoppers. Small apex stack with octagonal can at N gable.

BOUNDARY WALLS: harl-pointed rubble dwarf wall to Hillhead (S), surmounted by droved ashlar cope and cast-iron railing, square ashlar gatepiers with pyramidal caps flanking to left and right. Rubble walls with concrete cope to E and W.

Statement of Special Interest

Ecclesiastical building, no longer in use as such. After the union of the Church of Scotland with the United Free Church in 1929, St Olaf's was renamed Lerwick UF Church when the dissident minorities left from the union gathered to form their own congregation. St Olaf's then united with St Ringan's in 1931, and the congregation chose it for worship. St Olaf's was then given to St Columba's for use as a church hall, and renamed St Olaf's Hall. The extension of 1968 to the rear does not compromise the principal views of this crisply designed building, on its prominent corner site.



E J F Clausen and T M Y Manson 150TH ANNIVERSARY OF LERWICK PARISH CHURCH (1979) p11. Mike Finnie SHETLAND (1990) p23 and 25. Ann W Halcrow ST RINGAN?S CHURCH (1986). John Gifford HIGHLANDS AND ISLANDS (1992) p488.

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