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TITLE
Hugh Miller's Cottage (1 of 3)
EXTERNAL ID
GB1796_SINCLAIR_MARYFYFE_01
PLACENAME
Cromarty
OLD COUNTY/PARISH
ROSS: Cromarty
PERIOD
1980s; 1990s
CREATOR
Mary Fyfe
SOURCE
Inverness Museum and Art Gallery
ASSET ID
2106
KEYWORDS
cottages
thatch
geologist
geologists
audio

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Hugh Miller was born in Cromarty in 1802. A stonemason to trade, he went on to become a prolific writer and journalist, combining his religious beliefs with a passion for geology and folklore. His cottage, dating to 1711, is now a museum owned by the National Trust for Scotland. In this audio extract, Bill Sinclair finds out more about Miller's cottage from Mary Fyfe.

Interviewer: This must be the last thatched cottage in the Black Isle now?

Yes, I think it is. Actually, the cottage was last re-thatched in 1977 and we're hoping it will last for another forty years.

Interviewer: Do you have difficulty in getting thatchers nowadays?

Yes, we have to go England, we had to go to Warwickshire actually, to get the thatcher and the reeds come from the Tay Estuary. When I say reeds, this is more an English type thatching, but originally all the cottages in Cromarty were thatched with straw and clay. Well now, would you like to come inside?

Interviewer: Oh I would.

The doors and low and the ceilings are low but you come into quite a different atmosphere -

Interviewer: You certainly do

- as soon as you come through the door.

Interviewer: Now, we're in the - perhaps is it the - would it have been the living room in the - in Hugh Miller's days?

Yes, I think it might have been called a workroom because we have here, for example, a very strange looking fireplace where they would burn pine cones and wood chips on the floor and the smoke would be taken up through this very odd shaped chimney to smoke the fish.

Interviewer: You've left a bit of the, the wall here exposed, is this just to show the - how it was constructed?

Yes, the whole building, of course, is the same as this bit here. We've got large stones, small stones, red clay soil, and straw to bind it all together. You would hardly think that it would stand so well from 1711 but hopefully it'll stay another two or three hundred years.

Interviewer: How high do you - is the door there?

About four feet I think, but Hugh Miller himself was five feet eight, but when he lived in it, it was an earth floor. We've put Caithness slabs on top; it's probably raised it about four or five inches

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Hugh Miller's Cottage (1 of 3)

ROSS: Cromarty

1980s; 1990s

cottages; thatch; geologist; geologists; audio

Inverness Museum and Art Gallery

Bill Sinclair Audio: Hugh Miller

Hugh Miller was born in Cromarty in 1802. A stonemason to trade, he went on to become a prolific writer and journalist, combining his religious beliefs with a passion for geology and folklore. His cottage, dating to 1711, is now a museum owned by the National Trust for Scotland. In this audio extract, Bill Sinclair finds out more about Miller's cottage from Mary Fyfe. <br /> <br /> Interviewer: This must be the last thatched cottage in the Black Isle now?<br /> <br /> Yes, I think it is. Actually, the cottage was last re-thatched in 1977 and we're hoping it will last for another forty years.<br /> <br /> Interviewer: Do you have difficulty in getting thatchers nowadays?<br /> <br /> Yes, we have to go England, we had to go to Warwickshire actually, to get the thatcher and the reeds come from the Tay Estuary. When I say reeds, this is more an English type thatching, but originally all the cottages in Cromarty were thatched with straw and clay. Well now, would you like to come inside?<br /> <br /> Interviewer: Oh I would.<br /> <br /> The doors and low and the ceilings are low but you come into quite a different atmosphere -<br /> <br /> Interviewer: You certainly do<br /> <br /> - as soon as you come through the door.<br /> <br /> Interviewer: Now, we're in the - perhaps is it the - would it have been the living room in the - in Hugh Miller's days?<br /> <br /> Yes, I think it might have been called a workroom because we have here, for example, a very strange looking fireplace where they would burn pine cones and wood chips on the floor and the smoke would be taken up through this very odd shaped chimney to smoke the fish.<br /> <br /> Interviewer: You've left a bit of the, the wall here exposed, is this just to show the - how it was constructed?<br /> <br /> Yes, the whole building, of course, is the same as this bit here. We've got large stones, small stones, red clay soil, and straw to bind it all together. You would hardly think that it would stand so well from 1711 but hopefully it'll stay another two or three hundred years. <br /> <br /> Interviewer: How high do you - is the door there?<br /> <br /> About four feet I think, but Hugh Miller himself was five feet eight, but when he lived in it, it was an earth floor. We've put Caithness slabs on top; it's probably raised it about four or five inches