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Lodberrie, The

Located on the north side of Commercial Street in Lerwick, the Lodberries were merchant's private wharfs, extending out into the Bressay Sound, and represent some of the oldest buildings in the town. The name is thought to derive from the Old Norse hla­berg meaning a natural quay. The most notable Lodberrie, at 20 Commercial Street, dates from the later 18th century and has been A-listed since 1971. It comprises a group of buildings around a small courtyard; a house, workshop and two-level storehouse, featuring a sea-door and a wall crane, once used to load and unload boats. The property was gentrified in the 1980s and now provides a popular image for tourists, perhaps the most photographed building in Shetland. Formerly known as Robertson's Lodberrie, it was named after Bailie John Robertson of Lerwick who was joint agent for the North of Scotland and Orkney and Shetland Steam Navigation Company. The others include Copeland's, Stout's, Torrie's, Murray's and Macbeath's Lodberries, but most are later and all are rather more altered than Robertson's Lodberrie. Yet, the row of lodberries as they exist today gives a good impression of how Lerwick's waterfront may have looked from the late 17th until the early 19th century. Previously lodberries were also found along the northern continuation of Commercial Street, but these have been lost due to more recent harbour developments and the creation of The Esplanade.


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