Belmont House, Shetland
Belmont House is a Georgian
Georgian architecture
Georgian architecture is the name given in most English-speaking countries to the set of architectural styles current between 1720 and 1840. It is eponymous for the first four British monarchs of the House of Hanover—George I of Great Britain, George II of Great Britain, George III of the United...

 country house on the island of Unst
Unst is one of the North Isles of the Shetland Islands, Scotland. It is the northernmost of the inhabited British Isles and is the third largest island in Shetland after the Mainland and Yell. It has an area of .Unst is largely grassland, with coastal cliffs...

, the most northerly of the Shetland Islands
Shetland Islands
Shetland is a subarctic archipelago of Scotland that lies north and east of mainland Great Britain. The islands lie some to the northeast of Orkney and southeast of the Faroe Islands and form part of the division between the Atlantic Ocean to the west and the North Sea to the east. The total...

. 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
Northern Isles
The Northern Isles is a chain of islands off the north coast of mainland Scotland. The climate is cool and temperate and much influenced by the surrounding seas. There are two main island groups: Shetland and Orkney...

." 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
Inventory of Gardens and Designed Landscapes in Scotland
The Inventory of Gardens and Designed Landscapes in Scotland is a listing of gardens and designed landscapes of national artistic and/or historical significance, in Scotland. The Inventory was originally compiled in 1987, although it is a continually evolving list...

, the national listing of significant gardens.


The house was built for Thomas Mouat, whose father William was laird
A Laird is a member of the gentry and is a heritable title in Scotland. In the non-peerage table of precedence, a Laird ranks below a Baron and above an Esquire.-Etymology:...

 of the Garth estate on Shetland. Thomas visited Lothian
Lothian forms a traditional region of Scotland, lying between the southern shore of the Firth of Forth and the Lammermuir Hills....

, around Edinburgh, to gather ideas on contemporary architecture, and may have been influenced by Hopetoun House
Hopetoun House
Hopetoun House is the traditional residence of the Earl of Hopetoun . It was built 1699-1701, designed by William Bruce. It was then hugely extended from 1721 by William Adam until his death in 1748 being one of his most notable projects. The interior was completed by his sons John Adam and Robert...


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
Historic Scotland
Historic Scotland is an executive agency of the Scottish Government, responsible for historic monuments in Scotland.-Role:As its website states:...

as "a particularly remarkable survival."
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