Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Image of the Week No3

Each week we publish a picture (of a Georgian building) that's caught our attention by virtue of artistic merit or architectural/historic interest or because it shows a familiar building in a new or unusual light. We welcome contributions from home or abroad, so please get in touch  (office@georgiangroup.org.uk) if you've taken a photograph you'd like to see on our blog. Include something about the building and the circumstances of the shot if possible.  

Our third image, a composite before and after shot, shows Belmont House on Shetland, the most northerly Isles of Scotland, pre and post restoration. The project won our 2007 award for the restoration of a Georgian country house. 

Built in 1775, Belmont is the most ambitious classical house in the Northern Isles and the most northerly classical house in the United Kingdom. This profound isolation contributed to its neglect. It was left derelict by an absentee owner and by 2004 it was boarded up.

The Belmont Trust, essentially a consortium of local conservationists, then bravely stepped into the breach. Necessarily, but also encouragingly, local people (including students) have put many hours into bringing Belmont back from a roofless, ruined state.

External restoration is now complete. A later extension has been demolished to restore the fine classical proportions, the house has been made structurally secure by jacking up the floors, the roof has been replaced using reclaimed Scottish slates and sashes have been reinstated using handblown glass. The house and the restored pavilions have been covered in sparkling apricot limewashed harl. Gate pillars have been rebuilt using existing materials. Altogether a remarkable achievement in difficult circumstances.

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