Ancient Monuments

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Troswick, house 485m SSE of

A Scheduled Monument in Shetland South, Shetland Islands

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Latitude: 59.9304 / 59°55'49"N

Longitude: -1.2702 / 1°16'12"W

OS Eastings: 440890

OS Northings: 1116381

OS Grid: HU408163

Mapcode National: GBR R26H.BN6

Mapcode Global: XHD49.VNYK

Entry Name: Troswick, house 485m SSE of

Scheduled Date: 13 August 1975

Last Amended: 7 June 2012

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM3724

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric domestic and defensive: house

Location: Dunrossness

County: Shetland Islands

Electoral Ward: Shetland South

Traditional County: Shetland


John Young, circa 1780; now classical hotel with many later alterations. David Bryce, 1840-1; alterations and additions McGibbon and Ross, 1879-80; alterations R H Watherston, 1903; rear block Henry Wylie, 1968. 4-storey, 7-bay former office to E; 3 4-storey 3-bay former terraced houses to W; all with considerable alterations at ground.

NO 19 (INCORPORATING 15 & 17): cream sandstone ashlar. Channelled glazed arcaded rustication at ground, with pedestals to each pier; originally pilastraded (altered by Watherston); doorpiece to projecting centre bay framed by fluted and panelled pilasters and open segmental pediment; garlands in tympanum and arched doorway with mask keystone. Giant colonnade to 1st and 2nd floors of fluted Corinthian columns, engaged at centre bay, which has pedimented window at 1st floor; remaining 1st floor windows corniced. Massive entablature and dentilled cornice. 3rd/attic storey with pilastered arched windows and engaged fluted Corinthian colonnade; entablature and balustraded parapet with urn finials. Similarly detailed single bay return to E, adjoining irregular 5-story 5-bay stuccoed elevation framed by channelled pilasters; further tall 2-storey block beyond, containing former telling room (McGibbon & Ross). Single storey link to Wylie?s elegant 7-storey accommodation block to NE, with alternate horizontal bands of windows in bronzed frames and polished ashlar.

NO 21: ground floor treatment as above with simple pilastered arched doorway to right. Upper floors with moulded architraves; consoled cornices and single cast-iron balustrade at 1st floor; cill course (former cornice) at 3rd floor; heavy eaves cornice; later set back attic.

NO 23: projecting full-width painted Adam revival tripartite bay at ground; taller canted tripartite central section flanked by pilastered single bays with swan-necked pediments. 1st and 2nd floors with moulded architraves, cill courses; cornice above 2nd floor; later 3rd floor/attic with punched windows, cornice and blocking course.

NO 25: rendered to upper floors; projecting tripartite ashlar front to function rooms at ground, with broad central entrance bay, panelled pilasters, entablature and balustraded parapet. 1st floor windows with raised architraves and consoled cornices with blocking courses. Upper floors rendered with punched windows; cornice and blocking course continuing that of No 23.

Rear elevations of 2 and 3 stories with attics, on raised basements; ashlar.

Variety of timber sash and case windows, and several casements.

INTERIOR: lavish decorative scheme. Entrance hall with single row of columns; former banking hall with windows to rear with Corinthian columned aisles and glazed saucer dome; fitted restaurant seating.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

Cultural Significance

The monument's cultural significance can be expressed as follows:

Intrinsic characteristics

This monument survives in reasonably good condition in acidic grassland. The house is likely to contain the remains of foundations, floor surfaces and associated pits and middens and has the potential to provide insight into how prehistoric houses were designed and constructed. The buried remains may include artefacts and ecofacts that can help us understand how people lived at this site, how they farmed and used the natural environment, and how they exchanged goods with other groups. Future researchers may be able to date the buried remains, determine any development sequence and ascertain whether occupation of the site was interrupted by one or more periods of disuse.

Contextual characteristics

This monument lies within a landscape that is rich in archaeological remains and can enhance our understanding of the wider prehistoric archaeological landscape. A similar house lies 20m to the SW and an impressive standing stone lies 260m to the NNE. Lines of stone forming field boundaries in the vicinity may be associated. The site's location right on the coast adds particular interest, since prehistoric houses in Shetland usually lie further inland.

National Importance

This monument is of national importance because it has an inherent potential to make a significant addition to our understanding of the past, in particular of prehistoric settlement and land use. This house has the potential to improve our understanding of the distribution of prehistoric settlement, the structural techniques used to build houses and changes in settlement over time. The loss of the monument would significantly diminish our future ability to appreciate and understand the nature of prehistoric settlement and society in Shetland.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



THE BUILDER 11 July 1879, 20 March 1880. Gifford, McWilliam and Walker EDINBURGH (1988) p299. A J Youngson THE MAKING OF CLASSICAL EDINBURGH (1966) pp91-3. C McKean EDINBURGH RIAS Guide (1992) p95. Valerie Fiddes and Alistair Rowan MR DAVID BRYCE 1803-1876 (1976) p92. Kirkwood?s Map of 1819. HISTORY OF THE 100 YEARS: THE CALEDONIAN 1805-1905. Dean of Guild plans 30th July 1840.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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