The blackhouse village of Gearrannan is a quaint cluster of

6/25/2021, 1:55:52 PM
The blackhouse village of Gearrannan is a quaint cluster of traditional stone crofts on the Isle of Lewis; a reminder of Hebridean heritage that is almost lost. For centuries, Highlanders and their livestock lived in these one-room abodes. The houses, which featured packed earth floors, drystone walls, and thatched roofs, offered refuge from the wild North Atlantic weather. A fire in the central hearth kept the space warm, and a divider separated the human inhabitants from their farm animals. Between 1945 and 1965, the other crofts and blackhouses on the Isle of Lewis received running water and electricity. People lived in these houses until the 1970s, when the village’s remaining elderly residents moved into more modern homes. It seemed as though the village would then be lost to time, destined to crumble and decay until it was no more than a ruin. However, in 1989, Urras nan Gearrannan, the local trust, stepped in to restore and preserve these historic buildings. Today, the renovated blackhouses are available as holiday accommodation. Each building is named after the family that once lived there, and parts of the village serve as a museum that honors this bygone way of island life. Photographer @jamesalroca —— Selected by @astlesofscotland

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