15 Jun '14, 12pm

How to build a Blackhouse

The blackhouse is built on clay where the base stones of the wall stand on pebbles to prevent movement [1]. The thick insulated walls of the home are built from two layers of dry stone with an infill of peat [2] topped off with a layer of clay to prevent water getting in to the wall and then capped with turf which absorbs any excess water [3]. The timbers of the home were generally made from driftwood and in some cases whale bone [4]. Over the timber roof a layer of turf was placed but leaving an unturfed region on the ridge of the roof to allow smoke from the central fire [5] to escape through the oat straw thatch [6]. The Isle of Lewis is a very windy place so the thatch needs to be secured by a rope netting and weighed down with stones [7].

Full article: http://www.naturalhomes.org/blackhouse.htm

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