Quarff Parish Kirk, Quarff

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Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved. © Copyright and database right 2019.

General Details and Location

Name of Building
Quarff Parish Kirk
Other Name(s)
Easter Quarff
Planning Authority
Divisional Area
Reference No
Listing Category
OS Grid Ref
HU 42847 35447
Location Type
HS Reference No


4-bay T-plan symmetrical Parliamentary style church on site sloping to E. Harled walls with stugged and droved sandstone ashlar margins. Eaves course. 4-centred arched windows with modern timber tracery and glazing, and projecting, sloping cills.

Quarff was disjoined from Bressay and annexed to Lerwick Parish in 1891. This closely resembles one of the 42 standard T-plan Telford churches provided by an Act of Parliament of 1823 to meet deficiencies in the Highlands and Islands, but is in fact by Davidson and Macfarlane to Telford's design and as of additional interest as such. (Historic Scotland)
Building Dates
John Davidson and Thomas MacFarlane

Category of Risk and Development History

Category of Risk
Exemptions to State of Risk
The graveyard is in use and well cared for and excluded from risk.
Field Visits
January 1994, August 2000, 14/09/2008, Mar 2010, 23/6/2014
Development History
26 November 1993: The Shetland Times reports that the church is to be sold, after becoming surplus to Church of Scotland requirements. It is reported to have been disused for some time. The particulars of sale state that Shetland Council would be sympathetic to a change of use, with residential use preferred. January 1994: External inspection reveals the church to be redundant and in need of repairs. SCT understands there is the possibility that the Church will donate the property to the local community who are concerned to see it protected. July 1994: SCT receives confirmation that repairs have recently been carried out to the roof. 8 July 1994: The Shetland Times reports on the church's inclusion in the Buildings at Risk Bulletin. It is reported that the church is now sold. August 1994: SCT understands that the new owner plans to convert the church into a private dwelling. 23 December 1994: The Shetland Times reports that an interim interdict has been served on the new owners, preventing them from commencing on alterations to either the external or internal fabric without Planning Permission or Listed Building Consent, even though no works have commenced. Shetland Council, in response to the church, have developed a policy of not allowing the conversion of churches sited in graveyards that remain in use. It is reported that the church was offered to the local community after opposition to its sale was voiced, but the offer was turned down. January 1995: SCT receives information from the owner that the church bell has been removed without his permission. June 1995: SCT understands the owner is no longer in residence. January 1997: SCT understands that the church has passed to Quarff Church Trust. August 2000: External inspection reveals no work to have occurred as yet.
September 2008: External inspection finds the building remain unused and unsecured. The walls remain in good condition but some roof slates are missing which has exposed the sarking. Rainwater goods are broken or missing in places.
March 2010: External inspection finds outwardly, the church appears to remain in good condition. However, it was possible to observe from outside that plaster is coming down from the ceiling in many places.
23 June 2014: External inspection finds the building remains in much the same condition as seen previously. The interior, observed through a window, remains intact, though there is much evidence of dampness and plaster failure.

Guides to Development

Conservation Area
Planning Authority Contact
PAC Telephone Number
01595 744800


Current Availability
Appointed Agents
Occupancy Type
Present/Former Uses
Building Uses Information:
Present Use 1: N/A Former Use 1: Church/Convent/Monastery
Present Use 2: N/A Former Use 2: N/A
Name of Owners
Quarff Church Trust
Type of Ownership

Information Services

Additional Contacts/Information Source
Finnie (1990), p44; Gifford (1992), p503; Ritchie (1985).
Online Resources
Churches and Chapels
Original Entry Date
Date of Last Edit