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Community / Historic Yell house set for demolition after fire

Photo © Robbie (cc-by-sa/2.0)

A FORMER laird’s house in Yell which is B-listed is set to be demolished after it was badly damaged by an extensive fire in 2019.

Historic Environment Scotland said the demolition of the late 18th Century Gloup Haa would be a “significant loss to Shetland’s cultural heritage and extremely regrettable”.

However, it added in its response to a planning application for demolition that it accepts that repairing the stricken building would not be practical.

A report from Malcolmson Architects said that by July last year the north gable had collapsed and was in a dangerous condition.

Pictures show that the building was gutted by the fire and that its roof had fallen in, with the haa a shadow of its former self.

The architects said that the “structure of the building is far from stable and represents a significant hazard to safety”.

“Unfortunately, the loss of original fabric has resulted in the loss of the buildings historic value and significance,” it adds.

“The building is in a dangerous condition that will deteriorate over the winter period with heavy rain and high winds putting additional stress on the weakened structure.

“The building should be demolished as a matter of some urgency and the works carried out in a way that minimises risks to the contractor and neighbouring properties.”

Historic Environment Scotland noted that the architect report said the building was raised in height at some point during the 19th Century.

The original 18th century house was smaller and not typical of the grander haa/laird’s houses.

“Although Gloup had been altered to a full two stories, the survival of its original late 18th Century interior was exceptionally rare in Shetland, having all of the features distinctive to Shetland’s best houses of the period,” the agency said.

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