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TITLE
Detail of Cottage Roof, Strathdearn
EXTERNAL ID
QZP99_94130_06_03
PLACENAME
Strathdearn
DISTRICT
Inverness
OLD COUNTY/PARISH
INVERNESS: Moy and Dalarossie
CREATOR
I F Grant
SOURCE
Edinburgh and Scottish Collection, Edinburgh Central Library
ASSET ID
38701
KEYWORDS
housing
crofthouse
blackhouse
roofs
Detail of Cottage Roof, Strathdearn

This image is from the collection of historian and folklorist Isabel F Grant and shows a detail of a dilapidated roof in Strathdearn, Inverness-shire.

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 buildings on the Inner Hebrides and in districts along the north-western coast.

In this image, the trunks leaning against the roof may represent the type of wood used to construct the framework of the roof. The lower part of the gable end of the cottage is stone built, and wood has then been used to raise the height of the gable end up to the roof ridge.

This roof has been stripped of its thatching material, revealing the layer of sods that were placed on top of the wooden framework. The sods seen in this image are very characteristic of the Eastern and Central Highland style. Once the framework of the roof was in place, branches or rods would be placed vertically on top. Layers of sods were then placed onto this wooden structure, and in the Eastern and Central Highland style, these divots of earth were carefully cut into a scallop shape at one end. They were then placed on the roof in layered rows, starting from the bottom, with the scallop shape pointing downwards, and were pegged in place with small twigs of heather. Although the roof in this image is very dilapidated, the scalloped shape of some of the divots can be clearly seen.

After the sods had been laid, the thatching material was gathered into bundles and tucked under the sods. 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.


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Detail of Cottage Roof, Strathdearn

INVERNESS: Moy and Dalarossie

housing; crofthouse; blackhouse; roofs

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 shows a detail of a dilapidated roof in Strathdearn, Inverness-shire. <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 buildings on the Inner Hebrides and in districts along the north-western coast. <br /> <br /> In this image, the trunks leaning against the roof may represent the type of wood used to construct the framework of the roof. The lower part of the gable end of the cottage is stone built, and wood has then been used to raise the height of the gable end up to the roof ridge.<br /> <br /> This roof has been stripped of its thatching material, revealing the layer of sods that were placed on top of the wooden framework. The sods seen in this image are very characteristic of the Eastern and Central Highland style. Once the framework of the roof was in place, branches or rods would be placed vertically on top. Layers of sods were then placed onto this wooden structure, and in the Eastern and Central Highland style, these divots of earth were carefully cut into a scallop shape at one end. They were then placed on the roof in layered rows, starting from the bottom, with the scallop shape pointing downwards, and were pegged in place with small twigs of heather. Although the roof in this image is very dilapidated, the scalloped shape of some of the divots can be clearly seen. <br /> <br /> After the sods had been laid, the thatching material was gathered into bundles and tucked under the sods. 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 /> <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>