Historic Buildings & Areas
|Listed Buildings||Doors Open Days|
|Conservation Areas||Buildings At Risk|
|Archaeology||Gardens & Designed Landscapes|
Listing is the process that identifies, designates and provides statutory protection for buildings of special architectural and historic interest. This work is undertaken by Historic Scotland for Scottish Ministers. The criteria for identifying buildings which are of special architectural or historic interest are set out in the Scottish Historic Environment Policy and are broadly:
• Age and Rarity;
• Architectural or Historic Interest; and
• Close Historical Association.
There are currently 345 listed buildings and structures in Shetland.
Further information on listing is available online from Historic Scotland’s website. From here you can also search for a listed building and download building schedules.
Alternatively, a map-based search facility is available through Pastmap.
Copies of the Lists are also available to view at the Council’s Planning Service.
Works that affect the character of a listed building will require listed building consent. If you are proposing to undertake works (including internal works) to a listed building and are unsure if you need consent, please contact the Planning Service for advice. Further information is also available in a Council Advice Note.
Listed Building Consent application forms can be downloaded here.
Historic Scotland’s Managing Change in the Historic Environment guidance notes give advice on the principles that apply when considering works to a historic building.
Historical records relating to individual listed buildings may also be held in the collections of the following bodies:
Conservation Areas are designated by the Council in recognition of an area’s special architectural or historic interest. Once an area has been designated, it becomes the duty of the Council to pay special attention to the desirability of preserving or enhancing the character and appearance of the area. Further information on Conservation Areas including the criteria used for designation is available in Scottish Historic Environment Policy. There are three Conservation Areas in Shetland, two in Lerwick and one in Scalloway.
Lerwick Lanes Conservation Area Map
Lerwick New Town Conservation Area Map
Scalloway Conservation Area Map
Development within a Conservation Area should be well designed, utilise good quality materials and detailing, and respect the historic character of the area. The Council has prepared Character Appraisals for the Conservation Areas to assist applicants in formulating their proposals. Proposals for new buildings in conservation areas must also be accompanied by a Design Statement.
Lerwick Lanes Conservation Area Character Appraisal
Lerwick New Town Conservation Area Character Appraisal
Scalloway Conservation Area Character Appraisal
Design Statements Handbook – A Best Practice Guide
Additional planning controls apply in conservation areas. If you are intending to undertake works to a building in a conservation area and are unsure if you need consent, please contact the Planning Service. Further information is also available in a Council Advice Note.
Trees within conservation areas are also protected.
Some 8,000 archaeological sites and monuments, architectural objects and marine sites are recorded in Shetland, of which around 375 of the most important examples are presently scheduled.
A scheduled monument is a monument of national importance that Scottish Ministers have given legal protection under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979.
Historic Scotland compiles and maintains the Schedule of monuments of national importance on behalf of Scottish Ministers. The criteria for determining ‘national importance’ for scheduling is set out in the Scottish Historic Environment Policy. Scheduled Monuments are given legal protection under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979.
Most works on scheduled monuments require scheduled monument consent, which is administered by Historic Scotland on behalf of Scottish Ministers.
Information on monuments contained in the Schedule is available from Historic Scotland's website. From here you can download a complete list of Scheduled Monuments, or search a database of Scheduled Monuments records and access additional information and associated legal documents.
Alternatively, a map-based search facility is available through Pastmap.
Historic wrecks can be protected as Scheduled Monuments or as designated wrecks under the Protection of Wrecks Act 1973.
There are two protected wreck sites in Shetland
Further information on Scheduled Monuments and Designated Wrecks is available on Historic Scotland’s website. You can also find out more about different archaeological periods, themes and monument types, ranging from prehistoric burials to wartime defences, in a series of information leaflets.
A record of all known archaeological sites in Shetland, the Sites and Monuments Record, is held at Shetland Amenity Trust.
Gardens & Designed Landscapes
Gardens and designed landscapes are grounds that have been laid out for artistic effect. Gardens and designed landscapes are often the setting of important buildings and, in addition to parkland, woodland, water and formal garden elements, can often have significant archaeological and scientific interest.
An Inventory of Gardens and Designed Landscapes of national importance is compiled by Historic Scotland. For a garden or designed landscape to be included in the Inventory, it must be considered to be of national importance. Sites are selected and assessed using the following value-based criteria:
- Value as an individual work of art in their right
- Historic value
- Horticultural, arboricultural or silvicultural value
- Architectural value
- Scenic value
- Nature conservation value
- Archaeological value
The principles of selection are set out fully in Scottish Historic Environment Policy.
The Council has a role in protecting, preserving and enhancing gardens and designed landscapes included in the Inventory and gardens and designed landscapes of regional and local importance.
There are four sites in Shetland included in the national Inventory:
Further information on Gardens and Designed Landscapes is available on Historic Scotland's website.
Doors Open Days
This annual event aims to increase people’s understanding and enjoyment of their local architectural environment and encourage awareness of Shetland’s rich built heritage by offering access to properties that are usually closed to the public.
Buildings that have opened their doors for the event include Belmont House, Sumburgh Lighthouse, Lunna House and Vaila Hall.
The programme takes place over a weekend in September. Further information on events taking place in Shetland and across the rest of Scotland is available by clicking on the link below.
Buildings At Risk
The Buildings at Risk Register for Scotland highlights properties of architectural or historic merit throughout the country (including Shetland) that are considered to be at risk. To be at risk, a building does not necessarily need to be in poor condition, it may simply be standing empty with no clear future use. The main purpose of the Register is to raise awareness of these buildings, to seek potential restorers, and to aid the identification of new uses that will enable these buildings to be saved. The Register is maintained by the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland (RCAHMS) on behalf of Historic Scotland.
Buildings at Risk Register for Scotland
Funds For Historic Buildings
The Funds for Historic Buildings website offers a comprehensive guide to funding for anyone seeking to repair, restore or convert a historic building. The website allows you to search for a specific funding source, or for sources which are relevant to your project. It also gives useful advice on how to maximise your chances of success when making funding applications.