Bod of Gremista

(Böd of Gremista)

Rather grander than the average Shetland fishing böd, the Böd of Gremista comprises a two-storey grey-harled rectangular structure, with an attic, situated next to Lerwick Marina, 1½ miles (2.5 km) north northwest of the town centre. Böds were normally seasonal residences which provided a home for fishermen, and a store for their gear, during the fishing season. Constructed c.1780 by the local landowner, Arthur Nicholson, the Böd of Gremista was built to house the overseer of an adjacent fish-curing yard. This yard was associated with a fishing station, where traditional small boats (known in Shetland as sixareens) would land herring on the beach, which was then laid out to dry. The building has a kitchen on the ground floor, along with a large store for salt used in the curing process. There are two rooms on the first floor and a further two in the attic above. A box-bed has been installed in one of the bedrooms.

The Böd is perhaps most notable as the birthplace of Arthur Anderson (1792 - 1868), founder of the P&O shipping line. His father came from Unst to manage the fish-curing operations at Gremista on behalf of Nicholson. The building opened as a museum in 1987, was acquired by the Shetland Museums Service in 1991 and is now run by the Shetland Amenity Trust. It has been restored to its original state using grants provided by P&O and the government from 1970 and is now B-listed. The P&O flag flies from a flagpole on the landward side of the böd.

The museum provides information on the building and Shetland böds in general, the history of the fishing industry in Shetland and the life of Anderson. It also provides a temporary home for the Shetland Textile Working Museum.

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