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
Last Date Amended
Supplementary Information Updated
Local Authority
Shetland Islands
Planning Authority
Shetland Islands
HU 58011 92598
458011, 1192598


Circa 1825. Distinctive and picturesque lodge-house complex in Castellated-Gothick style with Classical and Moorish detailing to screen walls. Predominantly harl-pointed random rubble walls with polished and droved sandstone ashlar dressings; brick dressings to N screen wall. Comprises symmetrical 2-storey house with single-storey wings flanking to E and W. Classical entrance gateway in screen wall to W; single-storey 2-bay pavilion outbuilding with 2-stage tower terminates wall to N; 2-stage oval-plan tower folly with ramparts on hillock to E.

PRINCIPAL BLOCK: S ELEVATION: Arcaded, tripartite window to ground with polygonal shafts and pointed-arched lights; bracketed drip mould at lintel. Pointed-arched window above with polygonal shaft to paired and cusped lower lights, cusped quatrefoil tracery in arch-head. Tapered polygonal buttresses with blind arrowslits framing centre bay rising through mutuled cornice to corbelled bartizan bases engaging (formerly crenellated) parapet at corners. Single-storey wings flank; mutuled cornice and crenellated parapet at left bay returns to W ELEVATION: 3-bay with tripartite canted window to centre flanked by single-light openings. Centre block rises behind with cornice and parapet matching S elevation.

N (Entrance) ELEVATION: 2-leaf panelled timber door with 3-pane fanlight at ground to left of centre with ashlar forestair; 3-centred arch-head to window at 1st floor centre.

E (Rear) ELEVATION: near-symmetrical 3-bay elevation with irregular fenestration and wallhead stacks.

12-pane and 4-pane glazing in timber sash and case windows. Later, piended roof at centre, purple-grey slate piended platform roofs to wings pierced by harled-pointed and coped rubble stacks symmetrically disposed to W wing, single matching flue to E wing.

INTERIOR: Unusual oval-shaped hallway and oval stairwell with curved timber doors and cornicing. Decorative wrought-iron banisters to curving staircase. Pointed-arched window to internal wall at 1st floor landing. Central cupola to stair-well. Timber-lined ceilings. Some timber panelling and cornicing to ground floor rooms.

COURTYARD ENTRANCE GATEWAY AND OUTBUILDING: round-arched gateway at centre of W courtyard wall, flanked by basket-arched niches, armorial panel centred above and framed by colonnettes, rising into shallow full-width corniced pediment. 2-bay single storey and basement W wall of lean-to outbuilding extending to left, basement windows in right bay and offset to left of left bay, basket-arched niches in bays at principal floor.

SCREEN WALL AND PAVILION: harl-pointed rubble recessed to left of lean-to. Blind cruciform arrowslits flanking gateway to left of centre comprising 3-centred arch contained within pointed-arched recess, contained in turn within raised wallhead decorated by machicolation and bracketed cornice. Wall terminated by 2-bay single storey pavilion at outer left comprising 2-light Gothic window in left bay; ogee-arched recess in right bay containing vertically-boarded timber door, square and circular blind recesses centred above; open red brick belfry over cornice with Gothic strapwork to panel in pointed arch-head; random rubble shallow-gabled structure behind with lean-to wing on E elevation.

TOWER FOLLY: 2-stage battered lime-harl-pointed rubble tower with polished and droved ashlar dressings; oval plan with 'gatehouse' stair-tower adjacent to W. Pointed-arched doorway in W elevation of stair-tower, stone stair adjoining to N, accessing flagged top (formerly platt to timber 'drawbridge'). Random rubble ramparts extending from stair-tower to N and S, curving around hillock, terminated to S by corbelled harled brick bartizan. Symmetrical 3-bay principal elevation to W comprising arrowslits in outer bays at ground; pointed-arched entrance door centred at 1st floor with paired pointed-arched windows in flanking bays, oval shot-holes in each bay below bracketted eaves course with crenellated parapet corbelled out to bartizans at N and S extremities with wider pointed-arched windows slightly offset below.

TERRACE WALLS, STEPS AND GATEPIERS: upper terrace fronting W wing, courtyard entrance gateway and screen wall, low random rubble retaining wall bisected at courtyard entrance by stone steps terminated to W by square ashlar gatepiers with corniced caps; additional steps linking terraces to N; lower terrace bounded to W by low random rubble retaining walls curving out from gateway and curving in turn to enclose N and S extremities.

WALLED GARDEN, WALLS AND OUTBUILDINGS: series of random rubble walls enclosing areas to E of principal block, courtyard and pavilion; walled garden adjoining rear of principal block, rubble lean-to outbuilding spanning E side of E wall; further enclosure adjoining to S; square ashlar gatepiers with corniced caps in W wall. Gabled rubble outbuilding to rear (E) of pavilion with random rubble walled enclosure terminated by hillock to E. Keyhole-shaped ashlar Well Head open to S.

Statement of Special Interest

A fine example of picturesque landscape composition, Brough Lodge and its ancillary structures are arguably Shetland's most unusual group of 19th century buildings. The idiosyncratic application of styles and details used throughout this group of buildings is highly representative of the romanticised late 18th and early 19th century interest in military and foreign architecture. The group is a prominent landmark in the Fetlar landscape occupying higher ground overlooking Colgrave Sound.

An undated photograph taken prior to 1950 shows the principal block with a flat roof enclosed by a crenellated parapet (still extant with crenellations infilled) and bartizans at each corner. The photograph also shows cast-iron urns in the niches flanking the courtyard entrance arch, and the glazing and timber bridge of the tower folly. The tower occupies the site of an Iron Age broch, and was referred to in family correspondence as 'the observatory'. It is thought that it was used for this purpose by a Fetlar minister who was interested in astronomy. The Lodge retains a largely unaltered interior plan, with an unusual oval-shaped central hallway and stairwell with curved doors and fixtures to fit the shape of the room. This plan-form was fashionable at the end of the 18th and the beginning of the 19th century, although remains uncommon in Scotland.

A wealth of architectural remnants and historical artefacts from the Lodge including stained-glass, furniture and photographs are currently held at the Fetlar Interpretive Centre for preservation purposes. Brough Lodge was built for Arthur Nicolson of Lochend who had bought most of Fetlar from the Bruce family. By claiming the inheritance of a distant relation, he became Sir Arthur Nicolson in 1826. (The Nicolson Coat of Arms is set in the courtyard wall).

Brough Lodge and its surrounds are included in the Inventory of Gardens and Designed Landscapes where group has been designated as being of high to outstanding significance.

Category changed from B to A, March 2007.



Mike Finnie 'Shetland' (1990) p78; Fetlar Interpretive Centre 'Fetlar: The Lairds And Their Estates' (1993) p12. Scottish Natural Heritage and Historic Scotland - 'An Inventory of Gardens and Designed Landscapes - Supplementary Volume 2: Highlands and Islands' (2002) p161-164; Further information from the Brough Lodge Trust and Friend Association.

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.

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Printed: 27/01/2023 04:09