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TITLE
Gruinard Bay
EXTERNAL ID
QZP40_CARD_0591
PLACENAME
Gruinard Bay
DISTRICT
Gairloch
PERIOD
1930s
SOURCE
Highland Libraries
ASSET ID
32512
KEYWORDS
postcards
blackhouses
islands
anthrax
biological weapons
Beinn Ghobhlach
Gruinard Bay

This postcard shows Gruinard Bay, Ross-shire.

Gruinard Bay is an inlet of the sea on the coast of Wester Ross. It has beautiful beaches of pinkish sand from Torridon rock. Gruinard, from the Norse, means either green or shallow bay. Gruinard Bay is both. Little Gruinard River, which flows from Fionn Loch in to the bay, marks the boundary between the parishes of Gairloch and Lochbroom.

In the foreground is a blackhouse

The origin of the term 'blackhouse' is confused, having derived from two phonetically similar Gaelic words, 'dubh' (black) and 'tugadh' (thatched). 'Blackhouses' were simple, single-storey, thatched dwellings. The dry stone walls were of double thickness, the gap between filled with earth and peat. The roof of heather turf and thatch was secured by ropes held down by boulders. This one has a chimney on the far gable end but it was common for the fireplace to be in the middle of the room with no chimney and no windows. It was also common for the animals to share the accommodation.

Blackhouses were in use right up until the 1970s and today some are being restored as holiday accommodation but with modern facilities.

In the distance is Beinn Ghobhlach, meaning horned or forked, a mountain on the Scoraig Peninsula between Little Loch Broom and Loch Broom. At 2083 feet (635metres) it may not be one of Scotland's highest peaks but its isolation makes it very impressive.

Further out in the bay is Gruinard Island which, in 1942, was a testing site for biological weapons using anthrax. Anthrax can live in the soil for many years. It wasn't until 1990, after several attempts at decontamination, that the island was declared safe. Sheep now living on the island remain anthrax free.

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Gruinard Bay

1930s

postcards; blackhouses; islands; anthrax; biological weapons; Beinn Ghobhlach

Highland Libraries

Highland Libraries' Postcard Collection

This postcard shows Gruinard Bay, Ross-shire.<br /> <br /> Gruinard Bay is an inlet of the sea on the coast of Wester Ross. It has beautiful beaches of pinkish sand from Torridon rock. Gruinard, from the Norse, means either green or shallow bay. Gruinard Bay is both. Little Gruinard River, which flows from Fionn Loch in to the bay, marks the boundary between the parishes of Gairloch and Lochbroom.<br /> <br /> In the foreground is a blackhouse<br /> <br /> The origin of the term 'blackhouse' is confused, having derived from two phonetically similar Gaelic words, 'dubh' (black) and 'tugadh' (thatched). 'Blackhouses' were simple, single-storey, thatched dwellings. The dry stone walls were of double thickness, the gap between filled with earth and peat. The roof of heather turf and thatch was secured by ropes held down by boulders. This one has a chimney on the far gable end but it was common for the fireplace to be in the middle of the room with no chimney and no windows. It was also common for the animals to share the accommodation. <br /> <br /> Blackhouses were in use right up until the 1970s and today some are being restored as holiday accommodation but with modern facilities.<br /> <br /> In the distance is Beinn Ghobhlach, meaning horned or forked, a mountain on the Scoraig Peninsula between Little Loch Broom and Loch Broom. At 2083 feet (635metres) it may not be one of Scotland's highest peaks but its isolation makes it very impressive.<br /> <br /> Further out in the bay is Gruinard Island which, in 1942, was a testing site for biological weapons using anthrax. Anthrax can live in the soil for many years. It wasn't until 1990, after several attempts at decontamination, that the island was declared safe. Sheep now living on the island remain anthrax free.