Random thoughts from Pencefn

…. an engineer, singer and photographer living in Scotland

Gearrannan Blackhouse Village, Isle of Lewis – 8 July 2011

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Following the visit to the Norse Mill and Kiln at Shawbost, we decided to visit the Gearrannan Blackhouse Village a few miles further west.

Gearrannan Blackhouse Village

Gearrannan Blackhouse Village

The site is over three hundred years old, with the last residents leaving in 1974, moving into modern houses. Around ten years later Urras nan Gearrannan was formed to restore the village. Restoration began in 1991, being completed in 2001 partly funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund. Several of the blackhouses are let out as self catering units. Another blackhouse used to be a youth hostel however it did not reopen in 2011.

The first blackhouse has been converted into a visitor centre and catering facility. Upon passing through that blackhouse, the restored house is next. Entering on the left there is a kitchen, further through is a bedroom. The kitchen fire was burning peat. Turning right on entering there was a weaving loom. Certificates relating to eligibility of the loom being used to produce Harris Tweed.

Harris Tweed loom in the Gearrannan Blackhouse

Harris Tweed loom in the Gearrannan Blackhouse

Through to the back door is the peat pile.

Leaving the demonstration blackhouse, the next had a video display. Two sequences were shown. The first showed the the process for cutting peat, stacking it for drying and ultimately collected for storing. The second video showed the methodology for the production of Harris Tweed.

Leaving through the visitor centre, items for sale include products made from Harris Tweed.

Author: Stewart

An instrumentation engineer who enjoys photography and singing. Working in the West of Scotland; a member of St Mary's Cathedral Glasgow and Southwark Cathedral; and a volunteer guard/signalman on the Ffestiniog Railway in North Wales.

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