Listed Building

The only legal part of the listing is the address/name of site. Addresses and building names may have changed since the date of listing – see ‘About Listed Buildings’ below for more information.


Status: Designated


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Date Added
Local Authority
Shetland Islands
Planning Authority
Shetland Islands
HP 62867 9004
462867, 1209004


Late 17th century, with earlier and later 19th century alterations, and mid 20th century alterations. 2-storey, 6-bay near-symmetrical traditional Laird's house with wing projecting N at E end forming L-plan. Harled and cement-rendered and lined walls with cement margins to windows.

S (PRINCIPAL) ELEVATION: near-symmetrical; regular fenestration in each bay, modern gabled conservatory obscuring 2 bays at ground to left of centre.

W GABLE: single storey porch advanced and offset to right with vertically-boarded timber centred door in S gable. Single window to left at 1st floor in principal gable behind.

N (REAR) ELEVATION: asymmetrical; bipartite and narrow windows at ground floor in bays to right of centre and outer right respectively; single window at 1st floor to right of centre. Modern 2-storey stair wing to left, projecting W and stepping down to single storey and attic garage.

E ELEVATION: 2-bay gable of original house to outer left comprising windows at ground and 1st floor in right bay only; modern stair wing and garage recessed at right.

Timber sash and case windows, 4-pane to house except for plate glass sashes with timber mullion to bipartite window, 2-pane fixed-lights to porch, and modern glazing to N wing. Purple-grey slate roof to pitches of older work and porch. Stugged sandstone ashlar stacks to N and S gables, and centring ridge, all with stone copes and circular cans. Crowstepped skews to W and E gables, lead-covered skew copes flanking central stack.

TERRACE WALL: semicircular rubble dwarf wall fronting principal elevation terminated adjacent to elevation by square piers with pyramidal finials.

GARDEN AND BOUNDARY WALLS, GATES AND GATEPIERS: series of walled enclosures in a combination of harl-pointed and drystone rubble. Square rubble entrance gatepiers with stepped caps and ball finials to W; simple wrought-iron gate. Walled enclosures flanking approach to house, continuous as boundary wall curving N to meet coach house at E. E gates comprising square stugged sandstone piers with stepped caps surmounted by pyramidal finials; 2-leaf vertically-boarded timber gates. 3 walled gardens to NW of house, linked by common entrance gate comprising symmetrical double gateway with brick coping swept up to ball finial at apex.

FORMER COACH HOUSE: 5-bay gabled rectangular former trading booth of harl-pointed rubble aligned between boundary wall and road. Blank walls to S and W, modern door to N gable; symmetrical E elevation with rubble-infilled narrow windows to centre and outer bays, and vertically-boarded timber doors in bays flanking centre. Modern corrugated sheet roof with concrete skew-copes.

STABLE AND BOAT HOUSE: random rubble pair of barns of rhomboid plan, with double gable to road (E). Stable to S with 2-leaf vertically-boarded timber door to E gable, small 4-pane fixed-light offset to left in W gable and vertically-boarded timber door in N re-entrant angle. Stone slab roof with harl-pointed rubble skew-copes.

Roofless (1997) boat house, of shorter length, aligned to N with doorway in E gable. Gate adjoining to N end of E gable comprising square harl-pointed rubble pier with rubble stile adjacent to N.

NOOST AND PIER: drystone rubble U-plan wall enclosing noost at beach to E of coach house; open to E with concrete slip to water, and bounded to N by large concrete-coped rubble pier extending into water and terminated by slipway.

Statement of Special Interest

Buness was probably a 2-storey 3-bay haa extended by 3 bays to the W in the 18th century. Photographs taken in the first half of the 20th century show the E gable to be obscured by a smart 2-storey 3-bay neo-classical house of 1828, its principal elevation facing E with the old house consequently forming a service wing to the rear. The house was altered again in the later 19th century which included enlarging the windows to their present size and raising the wallhead of the earlier work. The addition of 1828 was demolished around 1950, and the gable repaired to its current crowstepped form with matching treatment given to the W gable. The N wing and conservatory were built in 1994, the latter replacing a small glazed timber porch typical of many domestic buildings in Unst. The terrace wall is a modern copy of that at Uyea Haa (see separate listing). The E gates were removed to their present position around 1909. An upright slab in the grounds commemorates research into gravitational acceleration by Frenchman Jean-Baptiste Biot in 1817.



Mike Finnie SHETLAND (1990) p76. Information courtesy of owner.

About Listed Buildings

Listing is the way that a building or structure of special architectural or historic interest is recognised by law through the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997.

We list buildings of special architectural or historic interest using the criteria published in the Historic Environment Scotland Policy Statement.

The information in the listed building record gives an indication of the special architectural or historic interest of the listed building(s). It is not a definitive historical account or a complete description of the building(s). The format of the listed building record has changed over time. Earlier records may be brief and some information will not have been recorded.

The only legal part of the listing is the address/name of site. Addresses and building names may have changed since the date of listing and if a number or name is missing from a listing address it may still be listed. Listing covers both the exterior and the interior and any object or structure fixed to the building. Listing can also cover structures not physically attached but which are part of the curtilage of the building, such as boundary walls, gates, gatepiers, ancillary buildings etc. The planning authority is responsible for advising on what is covered by the listing including the curtilage of a listed building. Since 1 October 2015 we have been able to exclude items from a listing. If part of a building is not listed, it will say that it is excluded in the statutory address and in the statement of special interest in the listed building record. The statement will use the word 'excluding' and quote the relevant section of the Historic Environment Scotland Act 2014. Some earlier listed building records may use the word 'excluding', but if the Act is not quoted, the record has not been revised to reflect current legislation.

If you want to alter, extend or demolish a listed building you need to contact your planning authority to see if you need listed building consent. The planning authority advises on the need for listed building consent and they also decide what a listing covers. The planning authority is the main point of contact for all applications for listed building consent.

Find out more about listing and our other designations at You can contact us on 0131 668 8716 or at


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Printed: 26/04/2019 02:48