Lerwick Town Hall

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Lerwick Town Hall

Lerwick Town Hall stands in central Lerwick, the capital of Shetland. The hall was completed in 1884 during a period of expansion in Lerwick brought by the herring industry and new-found wealth this brought to the town.[1] It is protected as a Category B listed building.[2]

The town hall was built at the highest point of Lerwick available facing west to the new town with its back to the old town, lanes and harbour.


Lerwick Town Hall was designed by architect Alexander Ross of Inverness, and the tender to build it was won by a local builder, builder John M Aitken of Lerwick, at a price of £3,240.

The foundation stone was laid on 24 January 1882 by Prince Alfred, the Duke of Edinburgh, the second son of Queen Victoria) on a visit to the isles. That same evening Lerwick saw the first ever Up Helly Aa torchlight procession.

The building took 21 months to build and was officially opened on 30 July 1883 (although the building was not complete) by George Thoms, sheriff of Caithness, Orkney and Shetland.[1]

But further work has been done to it in its years. The most recent was the replacement of the front steps which was badly decayed and was replaced just before The Town Hall's 125th Anniversary.

The Town Hall from King Harald Street


The Town Hall is home to Shetland Islands Council's council chambers and is available to hire for functions and events. Some of The Town Hall's most popular uses are:

  • Marriages - in the Main Hall or in the Council Chamber
  • Wedding Receptions
  • Musical Concerts
  • Coffee Mornings/Evenings
  • Sales of Work

Inside the building

Inside the building there are some stained glass windows which show many people who have been important in the history of Shetland, Norway and Scotland. The Hamburg Window was meant to tell one of the most interesting stories in the building.

Outside links

("Wikimedia Commons" has material
about Lerwick Town Hall)