Halligarth Haa, Baltasound

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Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved. © Copyright and database right 2019.

General Details and Location

Name of Building
Halligarth Haa
Other Name(s)
Planning Authority
Divisional Area
Reference No
Listing Category
OS Grid Ref
HP 62553 09272
Location Type
HS Reference No


Halligarth House is an unusual Unst house consisting of two detached but interlinked three-bay, single storey and attic houses running parallel to one another. The 1832 back house sits behind the slightly larger front house of 1839. The two houses are connected via a flat-roofed linking block. It is located at Baltasound on the east coast of Unst, the most northerly of the Shetland Islands. The house is situated within enclosed grounds in open landscape with a woodland walled garden and adjoining family burial enclosure to the northeast. Halligarth was the home of several generations of an important Shetland family of botanists, doctors, conservationists and authors. (Historic Environment Scotland List Entry)
Building Dates

Category of Risk and Development History

Very Poor
Category of Risk
Exemptions to State of Risk
Field Visits
May 1997, June 2006, 26/6/2014
Development History
May 1997: External inspection reveals the haa to be vacant and disused. June 2006: External inspection reveals that the building is still vacant; the condiition appears to have deteriorated with slates missing from the main roof allowing water to penetrate the interior. Building is considered to be at risk.
22 October 2012: NTS report an Options Appraisal is to be undertaken in early 2013 to identify to most viable use for the property. Works are to be undertaken in Autumn 2012 to patch repair the roof to prevent further deterioration.
7 May 2013: NTS advise patching work to the roof and the erection of gates to deter farm animals from accessing the site has taken place. The Options Appraisal is to be completed in May with an anticipated application for Project Development Funding to the Architectural Heritage Fund in Summer 2013. Community Engagement events at the site are also planned to take place over this Summer.
7 April 2014: NTS LHIS Manager advises the building was C-listed by Historic Scotland in Apr 2013. Record updated accordingly.
26 June 2014: External inspection finds the rear roof pitch has been braced to prevent the slippage of slates. Vegetation growth encroaches on the property. The NTS is developing a project which will repair the property and highlight the scientific and cultural contributions of the Edmonston and Saxby families and Unst's natural heritage.
10 September 2018: Halligarth Haa has been re-assessed for listed status and is now a category B-listed property rather than category C. Record ammended accordingly.

Guides to Development

Conservation Area
Planning Authority Contact
PAC Telephone Number
01595 744800


Current Availability
Not Available
Appointed Agents
Occupancy Type
Present/Former Uses
Building Uses Information:
Present Use 1: N/A Former Use 1: Residential
Present Use 2: N/A Former Use 2: N/A
Name of Owners
National Trust for Scotland
Type of Ownership

Information Services

Additional Contacts/Information Source
Online Resources
Middle-sized Houses
Original Entry Date
Date of Last Edit