Listed Building

The only legal part of the listing under the Planning (Listing Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997 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. The further details below the 'Address/Name of Site' are provided for information purposes only.

Address/Name of Site


Status: Designated


There are no additional online documents for this record.


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

Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for designating sites and places at the national level. These designations are Scheduled monuments, Listed buildings, Inventory of gardens and designed landscapes and Inventory of historic battlefields.

We make recommendations to the Scottish Government about historic marine protected areas, and the Scottish Ministers decide whether to designate.

Listing is the process that identifies, designates and provides statutory protection for buildings of special architectural or historic interest as set out in the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997.

We list buildings which are found to be of special architectural or historic interest using the selection guidance published in Designation Policy and Selection Guidance (2019)

Listed building records provide an indication of the special architectural or historic interest of the listed building which has been identified by its statutory address. The description and additional information provided are supplementary and have no legal weight.

These records are not definitive historical accounts or a complete description of the building(s). If part of a building is not described it does not mean it is not listed. 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 legal part of the listing is the address/name of site which is known as the statutory address. Other than the name or address of a listed building, further details are provided for information purposes only. Historic Environment Scotland does not accept any liability for any loss or damage suffered as a consequence of inaccuracies in the information provided. Addresses and building names may have changed since the date of listing. Even if a number or name is missing from a listing address it will still be listed. Listing covers both the exterior and the interior and any object or structure fixed to the building. Listing also applies to buildings or structures not physically attached but which are part of the curtilage (or land) of the listed building as long as they were erected before 1 July 1948.

While Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for designating listed buildings, the planning authority is responsible for determining what is covered by the listing, including what is listed through curtilage. However, for listed buildings designated or for listings amended from 1 October 2015, legal exclusions to the listing may apply.

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 1997 Act. 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 subsequent legislation.

Listed building consent is required for changes to a listed building which affect its character as a building of special architectural or historic interest. The relevant planning authority is the point of contact for applications for listed building consent.

Find out more about listing and our other designations at You can contact us on 0131 668 8914 or at


There are no images available for this record, you may want to check Canmore for images relating to BALTASOUND, BUNESS HOUSE, INCLUDING TERRACE WALL, GARDEN AND BOUNDARY WALLS, GATES AND GATEPIERS, FORMER BOAT HOUSE, STABLE, COACH HOUSE, NOOST AND PIER

There are no images available for this record.

Search Canmore

Printed: 29/11/2022 20:14