House Repairs – Isle of Tiree, Scotland

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When we were visiting the Isle of Tiree off the west coast of Scotland in May 2016, I noticed quite a few homes were being renovated.  The above house was the largest and they were making a nice job as far as I could see, also the second to last photo, looks like a new build.  The rest were the old ‘blackhouse’ cottages that were having roof repairs.  It seems that they re-coat the roof, which would have been thatched, with felt and then seal it.  I will post some really good examples of cottage renovations.   I really love the make do and mend approach of these few cottages, but then this is an island, four hours sail time to the nearest mainland port, which is Oban, no ‘do it yourself’ shops here, you use what you have to hand.

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May 2016

11 comments

  1. Great to see them improving these old houses. They must have to bring in some supplies, do you ever see trucks on the ferries? Thanks for getting all these, Lynne, it’s really interesting to see. 🙂

    1. Good I’m glad you like them Pat, I love to see them restoring any buildings. Yes you do see lorries on the ferry and I should think that they order items on the internet. I know they do on the Outer Hebrides, you see little delivery vans criss crossing the islands all the time 🙂

  2. Repairs and rebuilding are all good signs of the island surviving better. It still amazes me how thick some of those walls are on the black houses.

    1. Yes the walls are very thick, they are doubled walled, and they filled the space in-between with sand. So in the winter, it keep them nice and warm with the fire inside and then come the summer, nice and cool, keeping the heat outside. Could do with some of that now, it is still very hot here, still I should not complain, it will soon be Autumn 🙂

  3. Fascinating stuff. Those blackhouse cottages enchant me. They must hold so many stories from their previous occupants. They must have endured many hardships. I’m not sure I’d want to live somewhere so remote.

    1. Yes they fascinate me, I have been inside a couple on the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides, the blackhouses are museums now, but you can hardly breath in the one with the fire in the centre of the room and there is no hole in the roof for the smoke to escape, it just goes into the roof space and the idea is that the smoke seals the thatch inside the roof. Not sure I would want to live in one like that, but a renovated one would be ok, but its a little too remote for me as well, but if you are use to it, it’s most probably a totally different way of life 🙂

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