Visit The Blackhouse Museum on The Isle of Lewis
Blackhouse Museum Lewis Holiday Accommodation Guide discovering that the Isle of Lewis is not actually an island, rather it is the northern two-thirds of the largest of the Western Isles, sharing a mountainous land border with Harris to the south, There are also many sites of international archaeological significance such as the Callinish Stones on Lewis which are over 5000 years old and some believe older and more relevant than Stonehenge.
The small village of Arnol lies on the coastal side of the main A858 as it makes its way down the north west side of Lewis, at the far end of the village is the Blackhouse Museum, an unmissable visit for anyone wanting to understand a way of life here.
The Blackhouse Museum is run by Historic Environment Scotland, it is open all year round, apart from Sundays when it is closed.
The museum is part of a fascinating complex that comprises of the blackhouse, itself was built in the 1880's and lived in until 1966, and the "white house", a cottage opposite, furnished as it was in the 1950s and representing the world into which blackhouse residents moved.
A blackhouse usually comprised a long narrow building, often with one or more additional buildings laid parallel to it and sharing a common wall.
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The walls were made from an inner and outer layer of unmortared stones, the gap between them filled with peat and earth, the roof would be based on a wooden frame, resting on the inner stone walls, giving the very characteristic wall-ledge, over the frame would be laid an overlapping layer of heathery turves, and over this would be laid a layer of thatch, the thatch would be secured by an old fishing net or by twine, attached to large rocks whose weight held everything down, more rocks would be laid around the bottom of the roof, where it met the inner wall.
The roof traditionally had no chimney, the smoke from the peat fire in the central hearth simply finding its own way out as it could, the smoked thatch was considered an excellent fertiliser, it was normal to strip it off for this purpose and re thatch the roof each year, the floor of the living area of the blackhouse would usually be flagged.
The animals would be at one end of the house, and in the byre area there would be earth flooring, usually with a drain for some of the animal waste.
Part of the blackhouse would also be used as a barn for storage and processing of grain and other products.
Next to the white house there are the walls of another series of blackhouses, showing an alternative layout to the restored Number 42.
Completing the complex is an excellent visitor centre in another nearby converted cottage, offering background information about the blackhouse, using a cutaway model seeing the living conditions that the local Scottish people had to endure, there are weaving demonstrations with the weaver answering all your questions and seeing the Harris tweed being weaved. this is a Evocative place well worth a visit, a short walk down from the car park is a good site to see seabirds at RSPB reserve.
Top Blackhouse museum Attractions
The Western Isles of Scotland are home to a classic type of Scottish home known as a blackhouse. They were typically constructed with walls composed of dry stone and roofs made of thatch. Some of these blackhouses have been maintained as museums or other historical sites, giving visitors a look into the past and the traditional way of life that was prevalent during that time. The following are some of Scotland's most popular blackhouse museum attractions:
One of the most well-known blackhouses is the Arnol Blackhouse, which can be found in Arnol on the Isle of Lewis. Historic Environment Scotland is in charge of maintaining it. Visitors are welcome to explore the house, which has been conserved and is furnished in the same manner as it would have been in the 1950s. It is a wonderful resource for learning about the past and the traditions of the region.
The Gearrannan Blackhouse hamlet may be found in Carloway on the Isle of Lewis. In this hamlet, there are numerous blackhouses that have been rebuilt and are available for exploration. The history of the town and the people who lived there may be learned not only through the blackhouses but also from a museum and a tearoom that are located nearby.
Museum nan Eilean (Isle of Benbecula): This museum can be found in the Uist region. It focuses on the history of the islands and features a reconstructed blackhouse as part of its exhibits. It is an excellent location to gain knowledge on the history and culture of the region.
Kisimul Castle (Isle of Barra): Kisimul Castle is a historic monument on the Isle of Barra, boasting a rebuilt mediaeval castle set against the backdrop of traditional blackhouses. Although it is not a blackhouse museum, Kisimul Castle is located on the Isle of Barra. It is a one-of-a-kind event that merges the history of the castle with that of the blackhouse.
On the Isle of Skye is where you'll find the Cill Donnain Blackhouse Museum, which is a modest museum dedicated to blackhouses. It is a section of a larger heritage centre that is devoted to the maintenance of the local community's rich historical legacy.
Garenin Blackhouse Village is located on the Isle of Lewis and is yet another blackhouse community that has been carefully kept and has a long and interesting history. Visitors get the opportunity to learn about the island's history by touring the traditional homes on the island.
This open-air museum in Newtonmore, in the Scottish Highlands, is called the Highland Folk Museum. Although it is not solely focused on blackhouses, it does feature a variety of traditional buildings, some of which are blackhouses, that represent life in the Highlands over the course of several centuries.
The history and culture of the Western Isles, as well as the traditional way of life in Scotland, can be learned a lot about in these museums and attractions, which are fantastic places to study about those topics. They frequently offer instructive displays, guided tours, and activities that provide insights into the lives of the individuals who once lived in these one-of-a-kind dwellings and provide visitors the opportunity to learn more about those lives.