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Bressay, Gardie House

Country House (18th Century)

Site Name Bressay, Gardie House

Classification Country House (18th Century)

Canmore ID 1093

Site Number HU44SE 58

NGR HU 48772 42061

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
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Digital Images

Administrative Areas

  • Council Shetland Islands
  • Parish Bressay
  • Former Region Shetland Islands Area
  • Former District Shetland
  • Former County Shetland

Archaeology Notes

HU44SE 58.00 48772 42061

HU44SE 58.01 48716 42124 Gardie Cottage

HU44SE 58.02 48786 42108 Steading

HU44SE 58.03 48755 42041 Walled Garden

HU44SE 58.04 48739 42022 Gate Piers and Screen Walls

HU44SE 58.05 48725 42049 NW Pavilion

HU44SE 58.06 48730 42043 W Pavilion

HU44SE 58.07 48763 42007 SE Pavilion

HU44SE 58.08 48727 42140 Outbuilding

HU58SE 75 48680 42013 Pier

HU 4876 4206. At the S corner of the walled garden is evidence of an earlier structure. The stone wall is thicker at its base than above and within the thicker portion there are two blocked windows or doorways visible from the garden side.

Sponsors: Historic Scotland and SNH, through Land Use Consultants.

H F James 1998


Publication Account (1997)

Gardie House gazes serenely out over Bressay Sound. It has seen Lerwick develop from a village into a town, and the Sound teeming with sailing boats. It was built for William Henderson of Gardie in 1724 and passed through marriage to the Mouats of Garth in Delting in 1799. It was 'Young Mr Mouat' who entertained Sir Walter Scott here in 1814, and who was commended by Scott as a moderate improver. At that time the house was still as first built, a square block of two storeys with rusticated quoins (corner-stones) set off by harling. It stood in a walled garden, with a central main gate and an archway flanked by piers with ball finials at either end of the seaward wall, and its own pier. Around 1905, a square entrance porch was added, apparently reusing the original door surround, along with small single-storey wings. The original seven-bay design had grouped the windows as a central set of five flanked on either side by a larger gap and another window. This allowed the architect of the early 20th century, John M Aitken of Lerwick, to add a pedimented attic over the central five bays. To lighten the effect, he made three rather than five windows in the attic.

There is a U-shaped court of domestic offices at the back of the house, built perhaps in the later 18th century. Sometime in the 19th century, the archways in the garden wall were made into corniced boathouses.

Information from ‘Exploring Scotland’s Heritage: Shetland’, (1997).


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