Castle for sale for £30,000 – but make sure you read the small print

Brough Lodge in Fetlar
Brough Lodge in Fetlar

A castle in Shetland is up for sale for just £30,000 - but renovations to save the 200-year-old building will cost £12 million.

Brough Lodge, which is set on 40 acres of land on the island of Fetlar, is seeking a “philanthropic entrepreneur” who will take on plans to transform the site into a world-class retreat.

The proposals would create 24 bedrooms and restaurants, including an elevated dining room, while retaining the existing building, at an estimated cost of £12 million to the buyer.

“The vision is simple but effective,” the Brough Lodge Trust, which was set up in 1998 to preserve the building, says on its website.

“Brough Lodge… will be transformed into a world-class retreat that will delight all who visit it.

“Under the plans we have developed, the building’s historic character would be fully respected.”

Brough Lodge - UrbanImages / Alamy Stock Photo
Brough Lodge - UrbanImages / Alamy Stock Photo

The trust added: “Our hope is that a philanthropic entrepreneur will share our vision and take on the project.”

Since taking over the estate, the volunteer-run trust has spent more than £500,000 of donations to make the property watertight and add a new roof.

Dating back to 1820, Brough Lodge was built on the site of an earlier house by a merchant called Arthur Nicholson and inspired by architecture he had seen while travelling in France, Switzerland and Italy.

The building, which is listed as category A by Historic Environment Scotland, is situated on the north-west end of Fetlar and has been unoccupied since the 1980s when the last Lady Nicholson moved out.

Olive Borland, the last heir of the Nicholson family, transferred ownership of the estate in 2007 to the Brough Lodge Trust and is one of the trustees.

Ideal for yoga retreats

Guests participating in retreats at the castle would have the chance to do textile classes, with the trust hoping to spotlight Shetland’s global reputation as a centre of excellence in knitting and weaving.

The island’s peaceful setting would also be ideal for yoga retreats, the trust said.

The project will benefit the island of 61 people thanks to the creation of up to 14 jobs, it added, while “further inward investment may be stimulated”.

The building will also help to develop a better understanding, both within Shetland and further afield, of Fetlar’s cultural heritage.

The proceeds of the sale of the lodge will go towards tuition in hand knitting for children, the trust says.