Photography, Scotland, Travel, Uncategorised  Comments Off on Blackhouse
Mar 252019

Even though this is painted white, it is a blackhouse.

A blackhouse (Scottish Gaelic: t(a)igh-dubh) is a traditional type of house which used to be common in the Scottish Highlands, the Hebrides, and Ireland.

The origin of the name blackhouse is of some debate. It could be less than 150 years old and may have been synonymous with inferior. On Lewis, in particular, it seems to have been used to distinguish the older blackhouses from some of the newer white-houses (Scottish Gaelic: taigh-geal), with their harled (rendered) stone walls. There may also be some confusion arising from the phonetic similarity between the dubh, meaning black, and tughadh, meaning thatch.

The buildings were generally built with double wall dry-stone walls packed with earth, and were roofed with wooden rafters covered with a thatch of turf with cereal straw or reed. The floor was generally flagstones or packed earth and there was a central hearth for the fire. There was no chimney for the smoke to escape through. Instead the smoke made its way through the roof. This led to the soot blackening of the interior which may also have contributed to the adoption of name blackhouse.

The blackhouse was used to accommodate livestock as well as people. People lived at one end and the animals lived at the other with a partition between them.

This is near Malacleit, North Uist, Outer Hebrides.