Private island off coast of Shetland with 17th century mansion on the market for £1.75million

A private island off the coast of Shetland which comes with a 17th Century six-bed mansion, 757 acres of land and a flock of 200 sheep is now on the market for £1.75million.

The Scottish Isle of Vaila, Shetland, has been owned by Richard Rowland and Dorota Rychlik for around three decades, and is perfect for escaping the rat race of the city as it is located in the northernmost part of the UK and has no neighbours.

The purchase will also include Vaila Hall, a 17th century mansion, which has an 18th century watchtower, three-bedroom farmhouse and a two-bedroom cottage.

It is just west of the Shetland Islands archipelago, which is a ten-minute boat journey from Mainland Shetland. 

The island has 6.5 miles of coastline with lots of sheltered bays and caves and the area is renowned for its sailing and fishing, offering complete privacy, tranquillity and breath-taking scenery.

It is also a haven for wildlife with a huge variety of visiting bird life as well as otters, orcas and dolphins.

The Scottish Isle of Vaila, a private island off the coast of Shetland which comes with a 17th Century six-bed mansion, 757 acres of land and a flock of 200 sheep is now on the market for £1.75million

The purchase will also include Vaila Hall (pictured), a 17th century mansion, which has an 18th century watchtower, three-bedroom farmhouse and a two-bedroom cottage

The purchase will also include Vaila Hall (pictured), a 17th century mansion, which has an 18th century watchtower, three-bedroom farmhouse and a two-bedroom cottage

The Isle of Vaila, Shetland, has been owned by Richard Rowland and Dorota Rychlik for around three decades, and is perfect for escaping the rat race of the city as it is located in the northernmost part of the UK and has no neighbours. Pictured is Vaila Hall

The Isle of Vaila, Shetland, has been owned by Richard Rowland and Dorota Rychlik for around three decades, and is perfect for escaping the rat race of the city as it is located in the northernmost part of the UK and has no neighbours. Pictured is Vaila Hall 

The island is just west of the Shetland Islands archipelago, which is a ten-minute boat journey from Mainland Shetland. Pictured is inside the 17th century mansion

The island is just west of the Shetland Islands archipelago, which is a ten-minute boat journey from Mainland Shetland. Pictured is inside the 17th century mansion

Vaila has been home to Neolithic tribes and Norwegian Viking chiefs during its 4,000 years of inhabitation. The mansion was built for a laird and it was developed into a grand summer residence for a Yorkshire mill owner in the late 19th century, hosting lavish house parties in the early 20th century.

In the 1890s, the mill-owning Yorkshireman Herbert Anderton had six-bedroom mansion Vaila Hall built as his summer residence.

Prior to the Anderton era, Arthur Anderson, the founder of P&O, leased the island in 1837 and established the Shetland Fishing Company there. 

But by the time current owners Richard Rowland and Dorota Rychlik bought the island in 1993, the house had fallen into disrepair and was on Historic Scotland’s Buildings ‘at risk’ register. They have since carried out extensive restoration jobs.

The island has 6.5 miles of coastline with lots of sheltered bays and caves and the area is renowned for its sailing and fishing, offering complete privacy, tranquillity and breath-taking scenery

The island has 6.5 miles of coastline with lots of sheltered bays and caves and the area is renowned for its sailing and fishing, offering complete privacy, tranquillity and breath-taking scenery

Vaila has been home to Neolithic tribes and Norwegian Viking chiefs during its 4,000 years of inhabitation. The mansion was built for a laird and it was developed into a grand summer residence for a Yorkshire mill owner in the late 19th century, hosting lavish house parties in the early 20th century

Vaila has been home to Neolithic tribes and Norwegian Viking chiefs during its 4,000 years of inhabitation. The mansion was built for a laird and it was developed into a grand summer residence for a Yorkshire mill owner in the late 19th century, hosting lavish house parties in the early 20th century

In the 1890s, the mill-owning Yorkshireman Herbert Anderton had six-bedroom mansion Vaila Hall built as his summer residence. Prior to the Anderton era, Arthur Anderson, the founder of P&O, leased the island in 1837 and established the Shetland Fishing Company there. Pictured is the farmhouse

In the 1890s, the mill-owning Yorkshireman Herbert Anderton had six-bedroom mansion Vaila Hall built as his summer residence. Prior to the Anderton era, Arthur Anderson, the founder of P&O, leased the island in 1837 and established the Shetland Fishing Company there. Pictured is the farmhouse 

By the time current owners Richard Rowland and Dorota Rychlik bought the island (pictured) in 1993, the house had fallen into disrepair and was on Historic Scotland's Buildings 'at risk' register. They have since carried out extensive restoration jobs

By the time current owners Richard Rowland and Dorota Rychlik bought the island (pictured) in 1993, the house had fallen into disrepair and was on Historic Scotland’s Buildings ‘at risk’ register. They have since carried out extensive restoration jobs

It also has a farmhouse and a cottage and is perfect for fishing and hiking, and is a haven for wildlife with a huge variety of visiting bird life as well as otters, orcas and dolphins

It also has a farmhouse and a cottage and is perfect for fishing and hiking, and is a haven for wildlife with a huge variety of visiting bird life as well as otters, orcas and dolphins

Luke French, from estate agents Savills, said: 'At the meeting point of the North Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, this is a wild and beautiful part of the world'

Luke French, from estate agents Savills, said: ‘At the meeting point of the North Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, this is a wild and beautiful part of the world’

The main house has a baronial great hall with massive stone fireplace, full height stained glass windows and a minstrels’ gallery and is furnished with the original late 1800s furniture. There is also a kitchen, morning room, conservatory, study and six bedrooms.

The master bedroom has a secret passage through to the tower bedroom and the great hall has a concealed entrance to the kitchen.

The farmhouse and cottage work well as guest accommodation or could be staff quarters.

Vaila was the first farm in Shetland to get organic status in 1994 and the flock of 200 pure bred Shetland ewes can be negotiated separately.

There is about 142 acres of grazing land surrounding the hall and 581 acres of heathland.

Mr Rowland, a retired solicitor and his Polish wife have decided to focus on their fine art gallery business in Lerwick on the Shetland mainland.

Mr Rowland said: ‘We’ve had 30 fantastic years here, and we’re getting on in years now, so I think the time has come for someone else to take on the place,’ he said. ‘One just has to be realistic that nothing is forever.’

Mr Rowland said the couple now intend to base themselves in Lerwick, and keep their Vaila Fine Art premises in the town. 

Luke French, from estate agents Savills, said: ‘At the meeting point of the North Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, this is a wild and beautiful part of the world.

Vaila was the first farm in Shetland to get organic status in 1994 and the flock of 200 pure bred Shetland ewes can be negotiated separately. There is about 142 acres of grazing land surrounding the hall and 581 acres of heathland

Vaila was the first farm in Shetland to get organic status in 1994 and the flock of 200 pure bred Shetland ewes can be negotiated separately. There is about 142 acres of grazing land surrounding the hall and 581 acres of heathland

There is also a kitchen, morning room, conservatory, study and six bedrooms. The master bedroom has a secret passage through to the tower bedroom and the great hall has a concealed entrance to the kitchen

There is also a kitchen, morning room, conservatory, study and six bedrooms. The master bedroom has a secret passage through to the tower bedroom and the great hall has a concealed entrance to the kitchen

The main house has a baronial great hall with massive stone fireplace, full height stained glass windows and a minstrels' gallery and is furnished with the original late 1800s furniture

The main house has a baronial great hall with massive stone fireplace, full height stained glass windows and a minstrels’ gallery and is furnished with the original late 1800s furniture

Owners Richard Rowland and Dorota Rychlik gave up their London life and headed to the far north, getting married on the island in 1994 in front of 150 guests there. They bought up the mansion and all its fittings and furnishings - and even the boat used to cross to and from mainland Shetland

Owners Richard Rowland and Dorota Rychlik gave up their London life and headed to the far north, getting married on the island in 1994 in front of 150 guests there. They bought up the mansion and all its fittings and furnishings – and even the boat used to cross to and from mainland Shetland

‘The juxtaposition of the dramatic, elemental land and seascape with the exquisite craftsmanship of historic Vaila Hall makes for a quite extraordinary property.

‘A rare prize indeed for the next owner but also one which benefits from practical forethought by the sellers with the shore base building providing ease of access and the farming enterprise, farmhouse and cottage creating a variety of opportunities.’

Explaining how he discovered Vaila, Mr Rowland said: ‘We were looking for a project to take on and restore, and had really thought more of the Western Isles or mainland Scotland, and hadn’t really thought about Shetland at all until we saw this.’

The couple gave up their London life and headed to the far north, getting married on the island in 1994 in front of 150 guests there.

They bought up the mansion and all its fittings and furnishings – and even the boat used to cross to and from mainland Shetland.

Mr Rowland said: ‘We’ve had innumerable parties. We used to charter planes to bring guests up here.’

Meanwhile after 30 years on the island, Mr Rowland conceded it will be ‘quite a wrench’ to leave Vaila.

He wrote in a book about the island: ‘Vaila is a microcosm of all that is best about Shetland. Space, peace, natural beauty and wonderful light.’

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.