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Whalsay, Kirk Ness, Whalsay Kirk

A Category B Listed Building in Nesting, Shetland Islands

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Latitude: 60.3696 / 60°22'10"N

Longitude: -0.9953 / 0°59'43"W

OS Eastings: 455511

OS Northings: 1165489

OS Grid: HU555654

Mapcode National: GBR R1WB.BKF

Mapcode Global: XHF91.GMJD

Entry Name: Whalsay, Kirk Ness, Whalsay Kirk

Listing Date: 8 September 1974

Category: B

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 352665

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB18592

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Nesting

County: Shetland Islands

Electoral Ward: North Isles

Parish: Nesting

Traditional County: Shetland

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1733, with remodelling of 1867. Symmetrical T-plan kirk comprising 4 x 1-bay galleried hall with 2-storey wing containing aisle and laird?s loft centred to N (rear). Harl-pointed rubble walls with stugged and droved sandstone ashlar dressings. Projecting cills to windows.

S ELEVATION: symmetrical, tall principal windows with high cills in bays flanking centre, smaller windows with lower cills flanking in outer bays.

W (ENTRANCE) GABLE: round-arched door centred at ground with modern timber door and plate glass fanlight in arch-head; window centred in gablehead surmounted by (19th century) plain polished ashlar pointed-arched bellcote.

N (REAR) ELEVATION: gabled aisle and lairds loft advanced at centre with loft stair and window adjacent to right re-entrant angle and matching window to left fronted by memorial enclosure to Alexander Shand in re-entrant angle. 2-leaf wide-boarded and studded door to segmental-arched opening centred in N gable of aisle; small window at 1st floor adjacent to re-entrant angle of E side; harl-pointed rubble forestair with sandstone cope and steps rising to vertically-boarded timber door adjacent to re-entrant angle of W side with small window to left.

E GABLE: cement-rendered infill (dated 1968) to central segmental-arched former doorway; window centred in gablehead above with cill dated 1767.

Timber sash and case windows, predominantly 12-pane, with 18-pane glazing flanking centre of S elevation and 8-pane glazing to aisle. Modern grey tile roof, piended to S end of aisle, with stugged sandstone ashlar skew-copes. Rubble gablehead stack with stone cope to aisle.

INTERIOR: mid 19th century timber fittings surviving including vertically-boarded wainscoting, horizontally-boarded pews, loft, gallery, and canted and panelled pulpit with sounding board centring E wall accessed by stair on N side.

BOUNDARY WALLS AND GATEPIERS: harl-pointed rubble wall enclosing kirkyard, extended to W and N by (well-built) modern wall with semicircular concrete cope. Rubble-infilled opening to S wall, centred opposite S elevation of kirk; crude cement-rendered and lined square entrance gatepiers to W, with pyramidal caps and wrought-iron gate with medallions.

Statement of Interest

In ecclesiastical use. Presiding over the North Ness, this kirk occupies the site of an earlier church, and appears to be similar in layout to Old Olnafirth Kirk at Voe, Delting (now ruinous). Prior to the 19th century reorganisation, Whalsay Kirk seems to have conformed to the standard Shetland layout of a simple gabled rectangle with arched doors in the gables, and galleried interior with the pulpit probably sited between the central windows of the S elevation. The N wing contains at tunnel-vaulted burial place at ground floor with vestry above.

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