Fàilte! (Welcome!)

Fàilte! (Welcome!)
This blog is the result of my ongoing research into the people, places and events that have shaped the Western Isles of Scotland and, in particular, the 'Siamese-twins' of Harris and Lewis.
My interest stems from the fact that my Grandfather was a Stornowegian and, until about four years ago, that was the sum total of my knowledge, both of him and of the land of his birth.
I cannot guarantee the accuracy of everything that I have written (not least because parts are, perhaps, pioneering) but I have done my best to check for any errors.
My family mainly lived along the shore of the Sound of Harris, from An-t-Ob and Srannda to Roghadal, but one family 'moved' to Direcleit in the Baighs...

©Copyright 2011 Peter Kerr All rights reserved

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Turf Houses in Scotland

This is a huge topic that has only really started to be fully appreciated relatively recently.
It sits within the landscape of the forms of social & economic organisation that the islands have witnessed during the past 9000 years of human habitation.

Scotland's Rural Past is a 5-year project that ends in 2011 'which supports local communities across Scotland to investigate deserted rural settlements dating from the medieval and post-medieval periods'http://www.scotlandsruralpast.org.uk/

RCAHMS Interpretation Officer Brian Wilkinson has written ' A Study of Turf: Historic Rural Settlements in Scotland and Iceland' which explains how the so-called 'traditional' island blackhouse is actually an adaptation of an earlier form that used turf for its exterior walls and was, in fact, technologically superior to the more modern, 'improved' version.

An archaeological reconstruction of one of the Icelandic types of Turf House was recently completed and its story can be read here.

As I said at the start, this is a huge topic that is still in its infancy and I am sure that the closing conference of Scotland's Rural Past on the 18th of June 2011in Birnam will generate much interest.

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