Whitehouse on The Isle of South Uist, Outer Hebrides, Scotland

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This type of cottage on the Isles of the Outer Hebrides is called a Whitehouse. The original buildings were called Blackehouse’s, cottages that had no chimneys with just a hole in the thatched roof to allow the smoke to escape, so allowing the interior of the roofs to become black with soot.  When some of the Blackehouse’s were modernised they were called Whitehouses, along with the early part of the 1900’s two storey concrete type house, that were built for the owners of the old Blackhouses to move into.

These concrete houses’s were really a failure, because many were built with no damp course and became impossible to live in.  Some of the owners moved back in the Blalckhouse which were still standing next to the new concrete house.  Its amazing to see a ruined Blackhouse and concrete Whitehouse in the same garden or land with a modern built house.


From our holiday May 2014

2 Replies to “Whitehouse on The Isle of South Uist, Outer Hebrides, Scotland”

  1. Love both these pics, Lynne, the clouds in the b&w one look like rolling hills (or the sea!), but I also love the colours in the first one. It’s amazing how blackhouses persisted for so long, and they do blend so well into the landscape.

    1. Thank you Jo. I wasn’t too sure which to post, so I did both. I think I like the colour one more, the colours seem so bright on the Isles when the sun shines. I think the last person to live in a blackhouse moved out in about 1965, but I would have to live in one with a chimney and not a hole in the roof, although I suppose you get used to the peat smoke…..some how. It must have worked as a dwelling because some go back hundred of years, its a wonderful record really because they were just left and we are lucky that we can still see them to day 🙂

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