Belmont House, Shetland
|Designated||13 August 1971|
|Criteria||Work of Art, Architectural|
Belmont House is a Georgian country house on the island of Unst, the most northerly of the Shetland Islands, Scotland. It was constructed in 1775 by Shetland landowner Thomas Mouat of Garth, and has been described as "possibly the most ambitious, least-altered classical mansion in the Northern Isles." The house was restored from a derelict state between 1996 and 2010. It is protected as a category A listed building, and the grounds are included on the Inventory of Gardens and Designed Landscapes in Scotland, the national listing of significant gardens.
The house was built for Thomas Mouat, whose father William was laird of the Garth estate on Shetland. Thomas visited Lothian, around Edinburgh, to gather ideas on contemporary architecture, and may have been influenced by Hopetoun House.
In the early 19th century the east wing was added to the house, but otherwise it has remained unaltered. The Mouat family continued to occupy the house until the mid 20th century. It was then sold, and became derelict. In 1996 the Belmont Trust was established to oversee the restoration of the house. Over the following 15 years works were carried out, largely by local craftsmen, to bring the building back into use. It is now operated by the trust as a venue for hire. The original interiors are described by Historic Scotland as "a particularly remarkable survival."
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