About Belmont House
Belmont was built in 1775 by Thomas Mouat of Garth, a Shetland landowner and businessman. It is a classical Georgian house which remained unaltered throughout its history and it is of national importance, reflected in its designation as a category A listed building.
With a designed landscape, this is the most ambitious, least altered classical ensemble in the north of Scotland. It survived lack of money and years of neglect but was close to ruin when in 1996 a small group of Shetland residents, realising its unique status and concerned at its continuing deterioration, acquired it from its Edinburgh owner and contemplated the enormous task of saving it. The house has been meticulously restored by the Belmont Trust in a project which lasted 15 years, cost £1.2 million and has won national accolades. Nearly all the work was carried out by local craftsmen.
Internally Belmont remains as it was built, other than the addition of modern amenities. Architectural detailing, plasterwork, wood panelling, paint colours and stonework are mostly original. Where restoration was necessary this has been done to the highest standards of craftsmanship. Modern amenities have been added with two rooms converted into bathrooms.
Belmont House has won a number of architectural awards including The Georgian Group award for Best Georgian Country House Restoration in 2007.
The house sits in formal walled gardens, and is flanked by two pavilions. The formal walled gardens in front of Belmont House are included in the National Inventory of Designed Landscapes and Gardens in Scotland and were laid out when the house was built. They retain their original form and are now maintained as a community asset.
The two small pavilions balance the gardens on the south side of the house; to the rear lies a very early Shetland example of a farm square. All are contemporary with the house itself, and form a unique entity of classical symmetry and discipline, set in a wild and unspoiled landscape.
Belmont's history is extensively recorded and many details are known of the family who built it and lived there.
The Belmont Trust has recently secured external funding from LEADER, with support from Highlands & Islands Enterprise, to invest in development activities. The Belmont Trust is grateful for the support to help secure the long-term sustainability of Belmont House.