Brough Lodge, Fetlar

+ -
Ordnance Survey licence number AC0000807262. All rights reserved. © Copyright and database right 2024.

General Details and Location

Name of Building
Brough Lodge
Other Name(s)
Planning Authority
Divisional Area
Reference No
Listing Category
OS Grid Ref
HU 58002 92644
Location Type
HS Reference No


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;

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. 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). Historic Scotland)
Building Dates
Circa 1825

Category of Risk and Development History

Category of Risk
Exemptions to State of Risk
Brough Lodge Folly is incorporated into a broch and is designated Scheduled Ancient Monument.
Field Visits
August 2000, 12/09/2008, 23/03/2010, 25/6/2014
Development History
February 1999: SCT receives reports that the property is somewhat rundown and threatened with further deterioration. SCT understands that a group of individuals are in the process of forming the Brough Lodge Trust which doesn't yet have concrete plans but is commissioning a study into possible options, integrated with a strategy for the whole island and its community. August 2000: Interior inspection reveals that some interior fittings have been removed including chimney pieces. 10 August 2001: The Shetland Times reports that the Brough Lodge Trust is in the process of acquiring the building and its grounds with a view to renovation. A Friends newsletter is being published twice yearly, which will include updates on the project and articles on the history of the lodge. Fetlar Museum Trust is heavily involved in the work, and much of the contents are being displayed at Fetlar Interpretive Centre, or else are in storage awaiting relocation to the renovated building. There are currently proposals for a Shetland Centre for Folklore to be located in the lodge.
March 2007: The Lodge is upgraded from Category B to Category A by Historic Scotland.
January 2008: The Lodge is offered a grant of £500,000 by Historic Scotland, towards repair and replacement of missing architectural details. The buildings are planned to be put into use as a residential study centre and tourist accomodation once repaired.
September 2008: External inspection finds this fascinating collection of buildings in very poor condition and deteriorating in the exposed island environment. It appears that it is currently in use as a variety of farm stores.
September 2009: The Shetland Times reports that the Brough Lodge Trust has secured £140,000 of funding for restoration of the builidng from the council.
January 2010: The Press and Journal (Highland) reports on a fund raising event ( Shetland fiddler Aly Bain and accordionist Phil Cunningham) for the restoration of Brough Lodge.
March 2010: External inspection finds the building remains derelict. The main house is largely intact though there are roof problems on the front elevation: there are holes on the ridge level on the upper section and the lower section is sagging. Windows are boarded up. The adjacent structures are deteriorating more rapidly. Shetland News website reports on plans to complete works to make the building wind and water tight later this year. The article notes Historic Scotland has part funded the initial stage of the restoration plan, along with Shetland Council and Shetland Amenity Trust.
22 August 2012: Brough Lodge Trust continue fund raising for the full restoration and conversion of the former lodge. An initial phase of works that will make the structure wind and watertight, expected to take 2 years, is now underway, grant aided by Shetland Council, Historic Scotland and Shetland Amenity Trust. Moved to Restoration in Progress.
25 June 2014: External inspection finds the roof repairs are largely complete with further works to take place to the rest of the building fabric.
30 September 2022: Local planners advise the property has been placed on the market, with a view to securing a long term re-use of the building which also benefits the community of Fetlar.
Charitable body, Brough Lodge Trust, has undertaken wind and water tight works and has identified the best use for the property would be conversion to form a high-end retreat with accommodation and space to learn and practice textile design. Courses in other strands of Shetland’s heritage, for example music, could also be offered. There is also great potential for other activities, particularly yoga and other aspects of wellness.
The Trust is now marketing the site for sale to a philanthropic entrepreneur who shares the vision of the Brough Lodge Trust. More information on the proposal can be found on the appointed agent, Harper McLeod LLP, website As the property is now wind and water tight, condition moved to Fair from Poor.
12 January 2023: Property remains under marketing by Harper McLeod LLP at offers over £30,000
5 July 2023: Property remains under marketing by Harper McLeod LLP at offers over £30,000.
23 August 2023: Brough Lodge Trust has agreed to transfer the property to European Heritage Project, an organisation with extensive experience with the conservation of historic buildings, this being their first UK project.

Guides to Development

Conservation Area
Planning Authority Contact
PAC Telephone Number
01595 744762


Current Availability
Not Available
Appointed Agents
Occupancy Type
Present/Former Uses
BARR original text : Residential to Farm/Steading, Building Uses Information:
Present Use 1: N/A Former Use 1: Lodge
Present Use 2: N/A Former Use 2: Folly
Name of Owners
European Heritage Project
Type of Ownership

Information Services

Additional Contacts/Information Source
Finnie (1990), p78; Gifford (1992), p476-477; Fetlar: The Lairds and Their Estates (1993), p12.
Online Resources
Middle-sized Houses
Original Entry Date
Date of Last Edit