Key details

Roselea, Halligarth, Baltasound, Unst
interesting history • set in around 1/2 acre • island location with excellent local amenities
Under offer
By arrangement.


Interesting, single storey, detached cottage set in around ½ acre at Baltasound on Unst, Britain’s most northerly inhabited island.

Dating from the late 1800’s, this largely stone-built property was built by Dr Laurence Edmondston who produced the first catalogue of Shetland birds and pioneered early conservation efforts, as part of the wider Halligarth estate. The property is largely unaltered and comprises a living room, kitchen, box bedroom, bathroom & scullery / utility room, plus two further rooms in the side extension although this is in poor condition and the expectation is that it would be demolished and replaced.

The property requires complete renovation which is reflected in the price, but nonetheless with sympathetic restoration and upgrading, it offers potential for an attractively situated character home.

Unst is linked to Mainland Shetland by a regular ro-ro ferry service via the neighbouring island of Yell. The island boasts an excellent range of amenities including several shops, a leisure centre, Junior High School & health centre.

General Information

‘Roselea’ is situated in Baltasound, a fairly scattered settlement in the centre of the island of Unst, Britain’s most northerly inhabited island.

Overlooking the voe of Balta Sound, Baltasound is the main population centre on the island and the location of the main amenities. Although measuring just 12 miles long by about 5 miles wide, the population of around 600 benefits from a range of amenities probably far in excess of what might normally be expected given the location, these including several local shops and a post office, a Junior High School (primary & secondary education to year 4), a leisure centre with swimming pool, health centre, tearoom, garage & fuel, and a pier / marina. Unst is also the location of the SaxaVord Spaceport which is currently being developed at Lamba Ness.

Unst is renowned for its dramatic coastline and stunning rugged landscape, its Viking heritage, and a wide variety of bird and other wildlife. There are many places of interest making it a popular tourist destination in particular Hermaness National Nature Reserve, the Keen of Hamar Reserve, Muckle Flugga Lighthouse, Muness Castle, the Unst Heritage Centre & Boat Haven, and fine beaches at Norwick, Scaw, Sandwick, Westing & Burrafirth.

A regular, daily, ro-ro ferry service connects Unst with Mainland Shetland, ferries running throughout the day from Belmont at the south end of Unst, to Gutcher on the neighbouring island of Yell (10 minute crossing), and from Ulsta at the south end of Yell to Toft on Mainland Shetland (20 minute crossing), Toft being situated about 27 miles north of Lerwick, Shetland’s main town, which can be reached in just over two hours.

Further information on the island of Unst can be found at

The Shetland Islands themselves, the most northern part of the United Kingdom, are located approximately 200 miles north of Aberdeen and 200 miles west of Bergen, Norway. There are over 100 islands, 15 of which are inhabited, the population being around 23,000.

A daily overnight ferry service from Lerwick operated by Northlink Ferries ( provides a daily overnight link with Aberdeen. Loganair ( operates direct flights from Sumburgh at the very southern tip of Shetland, to Inverness, Aberdeen, Edinburgh & Glasgow. Islanders are currently entitled to discounted air and ferry fares.

Shetland has become an increasingly popular tourist destination thanks to recent TV exposure including the ‘Shetland’ detective series and numerous wildlife programmes.

The Property

‘Roselea’ is a mainly stone-built, detached cottage which was built by Dr Laurence Edmondston of Halligarth, who produced the first catalogue of Shetland birds and pioneered early conservation efforts. It was built to support the wider Halligarth landholding either as accommodation for domestic servants, or as a let property, and is an excellent example of a late nineteenth century rural dwelling.

The property is of local and national significance given its link with Halligarth House which lies just to the south-east. Although situated directly behind Halligarth House it mirrors the symmetrical main elevation of Halligarth albeit of a smaller single storey scale ignoring the later extensions.

The cottage is understood to have been built in three phases, the first two phases pre-dating 1902. The original main body of the house was built between 1878 and 1900. Photographic evidence suggests that the timber extension to the east was added before 1902, with later extensions being the front porch, and a larger extension to the rear, thought to date from the second half of the twentieth century.

The cottage is relatively unaltered and retains many period details. It has mains electricity and water. Drainage is presumed to currently be to a soak away but it is likely that a new septic tank will be required to comply with modern regulations. Although requiring complete renovation it could be sensitively restored and upgraded to form a comfortable modern home.

Although not specifically listed, due to its local significance the sale will be covered by a Conservation Agreement with The National Trust for Scotland to ensure that the successful purchaser renovates the property in a sensitive way. This will require that the main building is retained and any extensions are of a similar footprint to those presently existing, and be of good scale and design. Further development of the large garden will be restricted. Renovation proposals will require consent from National Trust for Scotland prior to the planning and building warrant stage.

Prospective purchasers wishing to submit an offer for the property are asked to provide a covering letter noting their plans and intentions for the property.

Alterations to the property will be subject to the usual consents required. The property is being sold in its current condition and no warranties will be given in respect of any contents or services.


The main entrance is via a front porch from where double inner doors open to a hallway with doors to the living room to the left, and a kitchen to the right, both rooms having fireplaces. The hallway and rooms in the original part of the house retain the original wood-lined walls and ceilings.

The living room has windows to the south and west, a door at the rear opening to a box bedroom facing north. On the other side of the hallway is the south-facing kitchen, with door at the rear to a rear hallway leading to a scullery / utility room with built-in cupboard, a ‘Belfast’ sink and windows to the side and rear, a bathroom, and a side entrance door.

Back off the kitchen, a narrow doorway leads to the side extension comprising two rooms and a lobby. This is however of basic construction and is in poor condition and will require demolition / replacement.

Rooms Sizes (All approximate)

Living Room

3.5m x 3.5m (11’6” x 11’6”)

Box Bedroom

2.3m x 2.3m (7’8” x 7’6”)


3.5m x 3m (11’6” x 9’10”)

Scullery / Utility Room

3.9m x 2.5m (12’9” x 8’2”)


2.45m x 1.85m (8’2” x 6’2”)

Side Extension:-

Room 1

3.5m x 2.2m (11’6” x 7’3”)

Room 2

3.5m x 2.15m (11’6” x 7’)


The property sits in a large site which is enclosed by a stone dyke and estimated to extend to around ½ acre or thereby. The garden area is presently overgrown although there is evidence of formal paths running from the front of the house towards Halligarth to the south-east, and from the cottage to the roadside. Establish shrubs line the eastern boundary.

Property location

To reach the house drive into Baltasound and carry on pass the care centre on the right, to a ‘T’-junction. Turn right to Haroldswick and continue past the two estates on the left (Nikkavord Lea & Setters Hill), and the junction right signposted for the post office. Take the next turning right shortly after the national speed limit sign; ‘Roselea’ is the first property on the left.


Important Information for Prospective Purchasers

This schedule is intended only to help you decide whether to view the property. We always recommend you view the property personally.

The information is believed to be correct, but it is not warranted and is not to form part of any contract of sale. All dates, distances, areas and room sizes noted are approximate and for use as a general guide only. Prospective purchasers should satisfy themselves as to the working condition or otherwise of any equipment such as central heating or kitchen appliances.

This schedule should not be taken as a comment on the condition of the property. This is a matter for your surveyor and we recommend that once you have found a property you are interested in, you obtain a survey report. We can provide details of surveyors if required.

Interested parties are advised to note their interest through their solicitor as soon as possible so that they can be informed if a closing date is fixed. Noting interest does not place any obligation on the seller to set a closing date or to give any noted interests the opportunity to offer. Whilst every effort will be made to advise noted interests of any closing date set, this cannot be guaranteed.

No responsibility will be accepted for expenses incurred by parties who have noted interest but do not get an opportunity to offer, or for any expenses incurred traveling to properties which have been sold or withdrawn.

Robert, a huge thank you for organising the sale of our property. You made it very easy for us. Andrew Kerr was amazing too.
Mr and Mrs Wiseman
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Roselea, Halligarth, Baltasound, Unst