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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 47608 41204
  • Coordinates447608, 1141204


Circa 1800, extended circa 1820. House comprised of symmetrical 2-storey and attic 3-bay original house (on sloping site to Law Lane) with 2-storey 3-bay later wing projecting at centre of rear (N) elevation, giving T-plan with early 20th century lean-to infill in NE re-entrant angle. Harl-pointed and cement-rendered and lined rubble walls with stugged and droved ashlar dressings.

S (LAW LANE) ELEVATION: cement-rendered infill to door at ground in centre bay; regular fenestration with projecting cills in flanking bays and at 1st floor.

W (PRINCIPAL) ELEVATION: gable end of original house advanced at right, single window centred at ground. 2-storey 3-bay elevation of later wing recessed at left; 6-panel entrance door with plate glass fanlight at 1st (principal) floor in bay to right, approached by stone steps with modern steel railings; regular fenestration in bays to left.

E (PIRATE LANE) ELEVATION: 2-bay gable end of original house advanced at left, regular fenestration at ground and 1st floors, square windows flanking centre in gablehead. Later wing recessed at right with lean-to infill in re-entrant angle.

Timber sash and case windows, 12-pane to W elevation of wing, plate glass to other openings, modern glazing at ground to S elevation, and attic. Purple slate and asbestos tile roofs; stugged ashlar and rubble apex stacks to gables, coped, with circular cans; cement-rendered and ashlar skew copes.

INTERIOR: timber staircase with turned spindles. Drawing room at 1st floor of wing comprising symmetrical arrangement at N wall of classical timber chimneypiece with flanking windows; 6-panel doors in S wall (dummy at left); 2-windows in W wall; all architraved with panelled shutters.

RETAINING AND BOUNDARY WALLS: random rubble retaining wall with ashlar cope to flagged area along W elevation. Random rubble boundary walls to N, E, S, and W. Raised wallhead with stugged sandstone cope to S (Law Lane), margined gateway adjacent to house; vertically-boarded timber gate with slatted upper. Vertically-boarded timber door adjacent to wing at E wall.

OUTBUILDINGS: 2-storey gabled rubble out building with purple-grey slate roof to Hangcliff Lane. Lean-to outbuilding with vertically-boarded timber door in yard adjacent to N gable of later wing.

Statement of Special Interest

This was the house of Sheriff Duncan who built the nearby Prospect House and gave the lane its original name of Sheriff?s Kloss.

The father and son of the Spence family both practised law from Windhouse, the father, Robert Niven Spence, was a prominent townsman. The house was later occupied by Lawrence Laurenson of Laurenson & Company. Windhouse is an interesting enlargement of a typical lanes house, the later wing being of good quality and containing one of Lerwick?s most elegant domestic rooms.



James W Irvine LERWICK (1985) p74 and 105. NMRS Ref: SH/506. Thomas Manson LERWICK DURING THE LAST HALF CENTURY (1991) p192.

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