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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: 12/08/1996


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

National Grid Reference

  • NGRHU 47319 41313
  • Coordinates447319, 1141313


Alexander Campbell, 1907. 2-storey and attic, 3-bay symmetrical Scots Baronial town house with 2-storey wing projecting to rear (W) giving T-plan (now extended to W with modern additions). Bull-faced pink sandstone ashlar frontage, stugged squared and snecked side elevations, harl-pointed rear elevation and wing, all with polished ashlar dressings and details. Base course, frieze at 1st floor framed by lintel and cill cornices. Long and short bull-faced dressings at principal corners. Droved and bull-faced margins with projecting cills to windows at side and rear elevations.

E (PRINCIPAL) ELEVATION: symmetrical; stone steps accessing single storey entrance porch projecting at ground in centre bay; modern timber door with leaded stained glass fanlight depicting swan above; flanking panelled pilasters and sides curving back to elevation and containing transomed windows with leaded and stained glass upper lights depicting birds; balustraded parapet with panelled dies above; tripartite mullioned and transomed window centred above. 2-storey, 4-light canted bays in flanking bays; crowstepped dormerheads with ball finials breaking eaves at centre faces.

S GABLE: door with glazed timber infill centred at ground; single windows centred at 1st floor and offset to right at attic.

N GABLE: single windows at 1st floor to right of centre and at attic to left.

W (REAR) ELEVATION; irregularly fenestrated with formerly gabled wing advanced at centre, with modern entrance porch at ground and additions to W.

Modern glazing throughout (following pattern of original plate glass timber sash and case windows). Purple-grey slate roof; slate-hung timber dormer centring E pitch, bipartite window with multi-pane uppers, decorative timber bargeboard and finial to gabled dormerhead. Piend-roofed, slate-hung canted timber dormers with finials over outer bays at W pitch. Stugged ashlar stacks, bull-faced at ends, and corniced with octagonal cans. Ashlar skew copes with gabletted and bracketted skewputts.

INTERIOR: leaded and stained glass panels to inner entrance door and screen. Timber staircase with herringbone pattern soffit, turned spindles and newels with ball finials. 6-panel timber doors; panelled dado and timber chimneypiece (removed from room to rear) in former dining (N) room at ground; flanking round-arched niches, segmental-arched buffet recess in W wall.

BOUNDARY WALLS AND GATEPIERS: random rubble retaining wall with concrete cope to street, terminated to S by square ashlar pier with pyramidal caps, matching piers adjoining to W and to N (panelled with bases) centred at entrance porch.

Statement of Special Interest

Islesburgh House was built for Andrew Smith, a prominent Lerwick Merchant, the contractor being John M Aitken. The name was taken from the area of that name in Northmavine which was the property of the original Smith family. Islesburgh House remained in the family until being requisitioned in the second world war and was then bought by Zetland Education Committee in 1945 and has operated as a community centre and youth hostel since, modernised and extended to the W circa 1990. Campbell?s distinctive broad canted bays with crowstepped dormerheads can also be seen at Brentham Place (see separate listing).



Mike Finnie SHETLAND (1990) p29. James W Irvine LERWICK (1985) p177. Shetland Islands Community Council ISLESBURGH HOUSE (1980) p7. Thomas Manson LERWICK DURING THE LAST HALF CENTURY (1991) p230.

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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