Unique opportunity to acquire a stunning, fully restored, Georgian house of historic interest, set in 2 acre landscaped grounds close to the shore at Belmont at the south end of the island of Unst, Britain’s northerly most inhabited island.
Enjoying a southerly aspect and fine uninterrupted views over Bluemull Sound and the Loch of Belmont, this Grade ‘A’ listed property has provided a lovely family home since 1775.
Arranged over three floors, the beautiful, authentically decorated accommodation comprises four spacious bedrooms, one retaining two original box beds, an impressive triple aspect drawing room, two further reception rooms, a writing room plus a country house style kitchen and three modern bath/shower rooms. There is also a substantial cellar and additional workshop or accommodation space provided by two pavilions set adjacent to the formal gardens with additional land to the rear of the house.
Since its award winning restoration in 2011, the house has offered high quality self-catering holiday accommodation and hosted weddings and events. This use could be continued or it would once again make a wonderful family home or upmarket B&B.
Viewing is essential to fully appreciate this important and elegant house and its fantastic setting.
Belmont House is an outstanding example of 18th century neo-classical architecture, this Grade ‘A’ listed property was built in 1775 by local businessman Thomas Mouat as his family home. The design was influenced by his visit to Hopetoun House outside Edinburgh. The house overlooks the Wick of Belmont and enjoys fine views out to sea and across Bluemull Sound to the neighbouring island of Yell, and also westwards to the Loch of Belmont.
In recent times the property had fallen into disrepair until the Belmont Trust was set up in 1996 with the aim of restoring it. The house had been little altered with much of the original interior remaining allowing the restoration to remain faithful to the original design. The restoration was done to the highest standards with the original lathe and plaster, wood and timber fittings salvaged and re-used, or faithfully reproduced, the work being mainly carried out by local craftsmen.
The restoration project won numerous awards including an RICS Scotland Building Conservation and Project of the Year Award, The Georgian Group Architectural Award, a Shetland Environmental Award and a Scottish Civic Trust My Place commendation.
Belmont House has been a lovely family home for most of its history, with formal gardens, additional land to the rear of the house, and pavilions which offer workshop, additional accommodation or storage space.
Since restoration, the Belmont Trust, a registered charity has offered high quality self-catering accommodation for up to 12 people. The house has also been used as venue for events such as weddings, all surplus income being reinvested in the house to ensure it is saved for the future.
Holiday use has proved popular, the location being an ideal base for exploring not only the island of Unst itself, but also the neighbouring islands of Yell and Fetlar (ferries also run from Unst to Fetlar), the accommodation having achieved a five star rating on TripAdvisor and four star rating for the National Trust for Scotland holidays. For further information on the property visit the Belmont Trust website at https://www.belmontunst.co.uk.
Note the external photographs have been taken at various times within recent years.
Benefiting from a southerly aspect the house is of a symmetrical three bay design, the accommodation being arranged over two storeys and an attic (there is also a large cellar). Although the formal entrance is to the front (south) side of the house, in practice entry is usually to the rear where a wood-lined porch with stone flagged floor leads to an entrance lobby with doors to the kitchen, shower room and main hall.
The shower room comprises an electric shower plus a period style WC with high level cistern, and a contemporary style wash hand basin bowl set on antique wash stand. The large farmhouse style kitchen which faces south, features handcrafted solid wood dresser style units arranged around space for a table in the centre, the main run of units housing a ‘Belfast’ style sink with slate worktop and drainer, open shelving allowing for display of crockery etc. Cooking is provided by an electric range cooker set in a fireplace recess, a walk-in pantry cupboard providing additional storage and also housing a larder fridge.
The main hall is an impressive space with doors to two ground floor reception rooms, an archway continuing through to the front door with built-in cupboards to either side. The dining room is a handsome south-facing room enjoying the fine view over the garden, with wood paneling to a dado rail, two striking pendant light fittings over the dining table adding a contemporary touch, a shelved cupboard providing storage. Off the dining room but also having its own access from the hall, is a separate living room to the rear, this north-facing room providing an extra bedroom when required.
A curved staircase lit by a large window facing north, sweeps up and around from the hall to the first floor, the accommodation on this principal floor comprising a drawing room, writing room and two double bedrooms. The generously proportioned drawing room is a stunning room enjoying a triple aspect with windows to the north, south & west flooding the space with natural light and also making the most of the views, the original wooden paneling to the dado rail, door architrave and dentil cornice being particular features. The fireplace houses a cast iron multi-fuel stove although central heating is provided. The finely detailed stone surround is a very rare and original example of hand painted marbling.
Next to the drawing room is a delightful writing room, again a well-lit room, a perfect space for contemplation or simply enjoying the fine view to the sea. Finally on the first floor are two large double bedrooms both similarly finished with wood paneling to a dado rail, double bedroom 1, the main bedroom facing south, twin bedroom 2 being situated to the rear.
The stair continues up to the wood paneled landing on the top floor where there are two further double bedrooms and two bathrooms, all the rooms being wood-lined. The first bathroom features a roll top bath with claw feet and mixer tap/shower fitting, a WC and wash hand basin, plus a period style heated towel rail, a built-in cupboard housing the ‘Megaflo’ hot water tank. Next is twin bedroom 3 and the second bathroom, a particularly cosy space with raised inset bath, WC and wash hand basin, and again a period style towel rail, and then up a couple of steps is bedroom 4, a spacious double room retaining two original additional box beds (thus sleeping four), one full length, the other for a child. There are also two shelved cupboards.
Finally accessed via a door from the ground floor lobby is a substantial cellar (approx. 7.7m x 3.3m) with a stone-flagged floor which provides extensive storage space and also houses the three Heatrae Sadia Amptec electric central heating boilers which supply thermostatically controlled period style radiators throughout the house, and also the two tanks for the fire alarm suppression system.
As noted the property sits in walled grounds extending to around two acres or thereby, the formal gardens being designed and laid out at the same time as the house and therefore providing the perfect setting and a delightful outdoor space, the central design axis linking the farm steading to the north of the house (not included) with the gates to the shore to the south.
The house is accessed via a drive which leads to a substantial parking area. The formal garden lies to the front, the immediate lawned forecourt being enclosed by walls to the rear which sweep around to meet up with the east and west pavilions, and by a low wall with original gate piers to the front, the gates leading to the larger garden area beyond comprising three walled enclosures again symmetrically laid out in relation to the house, the central area being divided into four quadrants around a path aligned with the front door and the gates to the shore reflecting what was originally the main approach to the house.
Gateways to either side of the central area lead to further walled areas to either side, the area to the east, now a hay park, thought to have been used for growing vegetables, the area to the west being more of a pleasure garden and now laid out with four fenced areas each surrounded by well-established planting creating a series of more private enclosures, a circular stone paved area enclosed by a semi-circular dyke to the west and a small wooden pavilion providing pleasant places to sit and enjoy the landscape and scenery.
Both pavilions have also been restored, each having two floors with a floor area of approximately 3.5m x 3.8m. The east pavilion is used as a laundry room with two ‘Belfast’ sinks, plus a wood-lined store over. The west pavilion has a stone flagged ground floor providing a work space quietly situated away from the main house, the wood-lined lined first floor having been used as occasional basic guest accommodation in the summer months.
Finally on the east side of the house is a large store (approximately 9m x 6m) with power supply, and a large park to the rear.
Further photos’s on agent’s site.