Lerwick is the capital and
main port of the Shetland
Islands, Scotland, located
more than 100 miles (160 km) off the
north coast of mainland Great Britain on the east coast of the Shetland
about north of Aberdeen, west of
Bergen in Norway and south
east of Tórshavn in the
Shetland's only burgh, had a population of
approximately 7,070 residents in 2007 and is the most northerly
town in Scotland (there are other large
settlements more northerly in Shetland, most notable the village of
- For the aircraft, see Saro
One of the UK's
coastal weather stations
is located at Lerwick.
Lerwick in relation to the rest of the
Lerwick is a name with roots in Old
and its local descendant, Norn
, which was spoken in Shetland until the
mid-19th century. The name "Lerwick" means bay of clay
The corresponding Norwegian name is Leirvik
meaning "bay" or
Evidence of human settlements in the Lerwick area date back 3000
years, centred around the Clickimin
The first settlement to be known as Lerwick was founded in the
seventeenth century as a herring
white fish seaport
to trade with the Dutch fishing fleet.
settlement was on the mainland (west) side of Bressay Sound, a natural harbour with south
and north entrances between the Shetland mainland and the island of
collection of wooden huts was burned to the ground twice; in the
17th century by residents of the then capital town Scalloway who disapproved of the immoral and drunken
activities of the assembled fishermen and sailors, and again in
1702 by the French fleet.
was built in the mid
17th Century on Lerwick’s waterfront and permanent stone built
buildings began to be erected around 'the fort' and along the
shoreline. The principal concentration of buildings was in the
‘lanes’ area; a steep hillside stretching from the shoreline to
Hillhead at the top.
As Lerwick became more prosperous through sea trade and the fishing
industry during the 19th century, the town expanded to the west of
Hillhead. Lerwick Town Hall was built during this period of
The next period of significant expansion was during the North Sea oil
boom of the 1970s when large
housing developments were built to the north (Staneyhill
) and south (Nederdale
of the main town.
Industry and economy
Lerwick is a busy fishing
port. The harbour also services vessels
supporting the offshore oil
Significant buildings in Lerwick include
Charlotte, Lerwick Town Hall, the Böd of Gremista, Shetland
Museum and Archives and Clickimin
There are several churches in Lerwick, including:
served by the Tingwall
Airport located a few miles away.
Northlink Ferries operate a daily
overnight ferry service between Lerwick and Aberdeen, regularly calling in to Kirkwall in the Orkney Islands.
Shetland Islands Council
operate a ro-ro ferry service to Out Skerries and Bressay from a terminal in the centre of the town, and the
Good Sheppard, Fair Isle's supply boat, regularly calls in to Lerwick's
Schools and education
has three schools; Bell's
Brae Primary School, Sound
Primary School and Anderson High School.
, a constituent
partner institution of the UHI
, is also based in the town, offering
degree-level education (among other further education courses) to
locals who unsurprisingly find it difficult to study further afield
(the next closest university-level institution is the University of Aberdeen
, a twelve-hour
boat journey away).
Hospitals and healthcare
Hospital provides secondary
care services to all of Shetland.
The Lerwick Health Centre
across the South Road from the hospital.
Local independent radio station SIBC
daily from a studio in Market Street. BBC Radio Shetland
, a BBC Radio Scotland
regional opt out, has
its studios in Pitt Lane. The Shetland
, a weekly local newspaper, has its premises in Gremista
on the northern outskirts of Lerwick. Millgaet Media Group, a
multi-media production company that includes Shetland Television
, is based at the
North Ness Business Park.
has strong ties with Scandinavian countries, particularly Norway
(Lerwick has a friendship agreement with Måløy in Norway),
and this is reflected in the street names of Lerwick (e.g.
King Harald Street, King Haakon Street).
Lerwick is the focus of most events in Shetland, including the
largest of the annual Up Helly-Aa
Image:Lerwick Harbour.jpg|Lerwick HarbourImage:Lerwickbressay.jpg|View of Lerwick
Lerwick.jpg|Commercial StreetImage:Lerwick town hall.jpg|Lerwick
Town HallImage:Lerwick Ft Charlotte.jpg|Lerwick from