Some Detective Work – Whitehouses & Backhouses, Scotland

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Now if I hadn’t taken this photo, I would automatically think it was somewhere on the Outer Hebrides.  An abandoned Whitehouse, the ones the government brought in to use in the 1920’s, that were to replace the Blackhouses, the old stone cottages, which were accommodation for man and animals together under one roof.   But this building is very near Tongue on the mainland way up in the north of Scotland, nearly as far as you can go.  So they were not only sent to the Islands, they were used on the mainland as well, but there are no Blackhouses here….or are there.  I found the following building not too far from the above one, looks like some kind of …….Blackhouse to me, not exactly the same, but then they would be a little different, different parts of Scotland, but it does look like it would have housed animals as well.


 I wondered if they were always called Blackhouses, but no, they were only called that when the new Whitehouses came along, these new type of homes were really to separate man and animal.  Funnily though, after a little time, most Islanders preferred the old Blackhouse cottages, and moved back in for a while, as they were warmer, a lot warmer.   As most new Whitehouse were built without damp courses and being made of concrete, got quite damp.  I feel I have a little detective work ahead of me to find out a little more on the cottages of Scotland and how they progressed to now…..when I have time 🙂

This is really a reminder for me to maybe, make time 🙂

From our visit 2014

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