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Latitude: 60.2364 / 60°14'11"N
Longitude: -1.3911 / 1°23'28"W
OS Eastings: 433819
OS Northings: 1150394
OS Grid: HU338503
Mapcode National: GBR Q1XP.980
Mapcode Global: XHD2Q.9Y0Z
Entry Name: Semblister, Semblister Old Kirk
Listing Date: 29 January 1986
Source: Historic Scotland
Source ID: 354323
Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB19901
Building Class: Cultural
County: Shetland Islands
Electoral Ward: Shetland West
Traditional County: Shetland
1780, with 19th additions. 3 x 1-bay near-symmetrical hall church with porch and vestry additions to W and E gables. Lime harl pointed rubble walls with stugged and droved sandstone ashlar margins and dressings.
W (ENTRANCE) ELEVATION: symmetrical, gabled single storey entrance porch centring elevation comprising window in W side and door in S side; window centred in principal gable behind.
S ELEVATION: near-symmetrical; 3-bay elevation with centre bay off-set to left.
E ELEVATION: symmetrical, blank-gabled vestry centring elevation with door in S side and window in N side.
N ELEVATION: mirrored image of S elevation.
Timber sash and case windows to porch, hall and vestry, all 12-pane except for 4-pane pattern to window centring W principal gable. Purple-grey slate roofs with ashlar skew copes and cast-iron gutters and downpipes with hoppers. Stugged and droved sandstone ashlar and rubble apex stack to vestry, coped with circular can.
INTERIOR: round-arched margined door leading to hall from entrance porch. Central flagged aisle to hall; timber fittings to hall including some vertically-boarded timber wainscoting surviving, large raked gallery on cast-iron columns accessed by dog-leg stair in NW corner with horizontally-boarded pews and panelled front. Pulpit within enclosure centring E wall; stop-chamfered panelling, stair at right with cast-iron baluster, canted and panelled pulpit front; panelled and pilastered back with canted and corniced canopy capped by ogee dome with ball finial at apex. Plain coombed ceiling with 2-pane timber skylights. 4-panel timber door and timber chimneypiece to vestry.
The position of the church close to the shore is a reminder that historically, the majority of the congregation would have arrived by boat. Semblister replaced the chapel at Sand (see separate listing), the margined round-arched door within the porch being the original entrance door as at Tingwall Kirk.
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