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TITLE
Repairing a roof, Poolewe, 1890
EXTERNAL ID
QZP99_93154_07_08
PLACENAME
Poolewe
DISTRICT
Gairloch
OLD COUNTY/PARISH
ROSS: Gairloch
DATE OF IMAGE
1890
PERIOD
1890s
CREATOR
I F Grant
SOURCE
Edinburgh and Scottish Collection, Edinburgh Central Library
ASSET ID
38522
KEYWORDS
thatcher
cottage
crofthouse
blackhouse
children
clothing
clothes
house
Repairing a roof, Poolewe, 1890

This image is from the collection of historian and folklorist Isabel F. Grant and was taken in Poolewe, Ross-shire, in 1890.

The roof of a traditional Highland house had a framework of wooden beams, over which was placed a layer of sods, and then a layer of thatch. In her book, 'Highland Folk Ways', I. F. Grant describes two different methods of thatching in the Highlands. One method was distinct to the buildings of the Eastern and Central Highlands, the other to the area she refers to as the 'Long Island', or the Outer Hebrides. These two methods often mixed together in the buildings of the Inner Hebrides and in districts along the north-western coast.

This image shows repairs being made to a thatched roof which displays many of the characteristics of the Eastern and Central Highland style. After the sods had been carefully laid, the thatching material was gathered into bundles and tucked under the sods. One of the women to the left of this image appears to be gathering bundles of thatching material for this purpose. In the Central and Eastern Highlands, barley straw was regarded as the best material for thatching. Heather, moor grass, broom, rushes and bracken were also used.

In exposed districts, and especially in the south and west, the thatch was often further secured by means of rods laid along the roof. In this image the whole roof has been secured by horizontal lines of evenly spaced rods. Hazel rods were often used for this purpose, and were secured by loops of split and twisted hazel twigs.

An upturned creel can be seen beside the door, and one of the women is carrying an empty creel. The creel was a large basket, woven from willow or hazel, and carried on the back. It was held in place by a rope stretched across the chest, and was often used for carrying peat or seaweed. The gaps seen in the side were to help to get a grip of the creel when it was being lifted.


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Repairing a roof, Poolewe, 1890

ROSS: Gairloch

1890s

thatcher; cottage; crofthouse; blackhouse; children; clothing; clothes; house

Edinburgh and Scottish Collection, Edinburgh Central Library

I F Grant Photographic Archive

This image is from the collection of historian and folklorist Isabel F. Grant and was taken in Poolewe, Ross-shire, in 1890. <br /> <br /> The roof of a traditional Highland house had a framework of wooden beams, over which was placed a layer of sods, and then a layer of thatch. In her book, 'Highland Folk Ways', I. F. Grant describes two different methods of thatching in the Highlands. One method was distinct to the buildings of the Eastern and Central Highlands, the other to the area she refers to as the 'Long Island', or the Outer Hebrides. These two methods often mixed together in the buildings of the Inner Hebrides and in districts along the north-western coast. <br /> <br /> This image shows repairs being made to a thatched roof which displays many of the characteristics of the Eastern and Central Highland style. After the sods had been carefully laid, the thatching material was gathered into bundles and tucked under the sods. One of the women to the left of this image appears to be gathering bundles of thatching material for this purpose. In the Central and Eastern Highlands, barley straw was regarded as the best material for thatching. Heather, moor grass, broom, rushes and bracken were also used.<br /> <br /> In exposed districts, and especially in the south and west, the thatch was often further secured by means of rods laid along the roof. In this image the whole roof has been secured by horizontal lines of evenly spaced rods. Hazel rods were often used for this purpose, and were secured by loops of split and twisted hazel twigs. <br /> <br /> An upturned creel can be seen beside the door, and one of the women is carrying an empty creel. The creel was a large basket, woven from willow or hazel, and carried on the back. It was held in place by a rope stretched across the chest, and was often used for carrying peat or seaweed. The gaps seen in the side were to help to get a grip of the creel when it was being lifted. <br /> <br /> <br /> This image can be purchased.<br /> For further information about purchasing and prices please email<br /> <a href="mailto: central.edsc.library@edinburgh.gov.uk">Edinburgh Central Library</a>