by Lee Allen
Historic Scotland have pledged £97,000 to further repair Brough Lodge on the Isle of Fetlar in the Shetland Islands, after cracks were found in its structure.
It is believed that the first phase of the restoration will be completed by the end of 2013 having begun almost two years ago, with the overall cost of the project estimated at £2.8m. It is hoped that the restoration of Brough Lodge will create much needed local employment opportunities
Brough Lodge was built after 1818 when Arthur Nicholson acquired the land and previous house as settlement of a debt in 1805. His wanderings around Europe meant that the house was modeled in a continental style and not like a local house at all. This alone makes it unique to Shetland. After the house was built the Nicholsons lived in the house until the 1970s when the last Nicholson left and from that moment the house started to deteriorate.
The Brough Lodge Trust want to bring Brough Lodge back to life and create a place in which Shetland’s musical and artistic heritage is nurtured and celebrated.. The Trust have suggested the building could host heritage workshops and exhibitions in the future and ultimately become part of Shetland’s tourism circuit.
I visited Brough Lodge a few years ago (before the restoration began) and it is a truly magnificent building. If it can be sympathetically restored to it’s former glories, it will attract visitors from far and wide and would definitely put Fetlar on the tourist map.