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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 41483
  • Coordinates447513, 1141483


Dated 1903. 2-storey and attic, 3-bay Scots Baronial former drill hall. Stugged squared and snecked sandstone walls with concrete covered ashlar dressings. Base course, long and short quoins to windows and corners, projecting cills at windows.

W (ENTRANCE) ELEVATION: architraved and corniced 6-panel 2-leaf timber door with 4-pane fanlight at ground in centre bay; datestone in frame centred above. Bipartite windows at ground in flanking bays; bipartite window in dormer with stone crowstepped dormerhead breaking eaves to right of centre. Left bay gabled with bipartite window at 1st floor, window at 1st floor in bay to right rising in tower, breaking eaves at SW corner, corbelled out to crenellated parapet above.

S ELEVATION: asymmetrical; 3-bay elevation with hall extending to right. Raised door opening in centre bay at ground, windows in flanking bays with 1st floor window in left bay in corner tower, bipartite dormer window in right bay offset to right, breaking eaves with crowstepped stone dormerhead. Hall elevation extending to right, mostly obscured by modern addition.

N ELEVATION: 2-bay end elevation of principal front to right with crowstepped chimneygable with windows flanking centre, hall elevation extending to left, ground floor obscured by modern lean-to addition.

Modern timber windows with multi-pane uppers and plate glass lower sashes. Purple slate roofs, piended with platform to front block, gabled to hall, profiled cast-iron gutter and downpipes with decorative hopper and brackets.

INTERIOR: (seen 2008). Simple, modernised interior.

Statement of Special Interest

The Islesburgh Theatre started life as a Volunteer Headquarters and Drill Hall/Gymnasium and School of Arms. Built by members of the 7th Volunteer Battalion, The Gordon Highlanders, the foundation stone was laid on 22nd July 1903 by Captain Commandant Moffatt. The Drill Hall was requisitioned during the 2nd World War by the Entertainments National Service Association as a theatre for service personnel. Unofficially dubbed with the title "Garrison Theatre", it was not until 1942 that at was adapted for use as a proper theatre, and then further improved in 1958 after acquisition by the Education Committee. In 1974, it was handed over to the Islesburgh House Committee after plans to build a new theatre at the Anderson High School were abandoned, and has undergone another refurbishment circa 1990. Old photographs show the original arrangement of the chimney stacks.

Shetland Arts took over the Garrison Theatre in 2006 and it now provides a venue for theatre, concerts and film shows amongst other community uses.

List description updated as part of the Theatres Thematic Study 2010.



Mike Finnie SHETLAND (1990) p30. E J F Clausen and T M Y Manson 150TH ANNIVERSARY OF LERWICK PARISH CHURCH (1979) p.9. Shetland Islands Council ISLESBURGH HOUSE (1980) p11. Norman Hudson SOUVENIR POSTCARDS FROM SHETLAND (1992) p20. 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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