Standard Shipping for delivery by Dec 24 has ended. Most products available with Express Shipping.

Captured freehand in the Blackhouse Museum at Arnol, Isle of Lewis. Smoke from the peat fire in the centre of the main room is caught in the light from the only window.

Historic Scotland site

The museum is well worth a visit to get insights of what life was like in this typical old stone house. The so-called blackhouses did not have a chimney but the peat smoke rose up through the thatched roof. This had the added advantage of keeping the roof from rotting or rain from coming through.

This is my homage to the generations of islanders who lived in these houses.

Addtional information from Ranald: “The tar from the peat smoke made everything inside black, hence the name. The beasts were often kept at one end of the house, where the floor sloped down. The heat rising off them kept the smoke away. A very clever system.”

Nikon D1X, Nikon 18-70 F3.5-4.5G. F3/8, 1/10s, 24mm, ISO 125.
Location: Arnol, Isle of Lewis, Outer Hebrides, Scotland, UK.
I’ve got this framed in large-format in my hallway.

20.07.2013, 2251 views

Featured in
Featured Photographers
Smoke Photography
A View Somewhere…
Featured Features
Contrasting Perceptions
Nikon DSLR Users Group
Scotlands History
Rural Around the Globe
Highlands and Islands Photographers
European Everyday Life
Historic Places

Redbubble Contest Winner in
Words to Image Contest.

“In my mind, life on the islands changed with The Beatles. They marked the dawn of a new era with electricity, fridges, cookers and washing machines. The days of peat fires, earthen floors and thatched rooves faded and faded.” – Memories of the custodian at the Blackhouse at Arnol, Lewis where I took the shot.

Group Avatar in Historic Places from October 2010.

Challenge Winner in
Historic Places – Historic Interiors
Featured Women Photographers – March 2011 20$ voucher contest

Top Ten in Preserving History
Lovers of the Isles may like my calendar Outer Hebridean Coastlines

Born in Scotland, at home in Europe, I am a passionate photographer with eclectic tastes who loves to travel and capture images of our beautiful world. Check out my gallery or contact me directly for contract work or customization.
All images are subject to Copyright by the Artist who does not allow pinning to Pinterest. Please contact me if you have any questions.

View Full Profile


  • Ranald
    Ranaldover 5 years ago

    ’S math sin! Well captured Kasia. The tar from the peat smoke made everything inside black, hence the name. The beasts were often kept at one end of the house, where the floor sloped down. The heat rising off them kept the smoke away. A very clever system.

  • Moran taing. You obviously know quite a lot about the background. It does seem clever, though not sure of the long-term effect on their lungs. There was still a beautiful peaty smell on my clothes when I opened it after the holiday, 10 days later.
    I found it fascinating and would go back if ever in the area again. We chatted for ages with Donald, the guide, who was a mine of information about the house but island life in general.

    – Kasia-D

  • Caterpillar
    Caterpillarover 5 years ago

    Very magical…
    Fantastic shot Kasia!

  • Dziekuje bardzo! It is somehow a magical place.

    – Kasia-D

  • David Murphy
    David Murphyover 5 years ago

    Great story, great image, Kasia……
    No wonder you have hung this……..its a brill shot……’ve gotta love that beam of light!!
    Well done……..hope you had a good wash afterwards !! lol

  • Thanks very much for your comment and Star, David! I’m really chuffed by the positive feedback. It is one of my all-time faves bring back special memories too. The strong wind from the Atlantic blew most of it away…

    – Kasia-D

  • Mojca Savicki
    Mojca Savickiover 5 years ago

    Double wow :), this is stunning!

  • Mojca, double thank you – for your lovely comment and the gold star:-)

    – Kasia-D

  • midzing
    midzingover 5 years ago

    fantastic capture,,, well done

  • Midzing, thank you. Comment and golf star very appreciated!

    – Kasia-D

  • ragman
    ragmanover 5 years ago

    excellent interplay of light and shade
    beam angle makes it
    but great detail and info throughout

  • Thanks for your taking time to look so closely at the technical details and composition. Really pleased you like this.

    – Kasia-D

  • Jeff Stroud
    Jeff Stroudover 5 years ago

    This is a wondrous shot,… tells a story, and you have filled us in… beautiful!

  • Jeff, thank you for visiting and commenting. I’m so happy that you enjoyed this image and the accompanying story.

    – Kasia-D

  • Vicki Ferrari
    Vicki Ferrariover 5 years ago

    Bubble bubble, boil and trouble, (or however it goes!) I love this Kasia, very wiccan! :)

  • Vicki, thank you, lass!
    I think MacBeth’s witches chanted “Bubble, bubble, toil and trouble…” And there was definitely a lot of toil in a house like this, with no electricity and the central fire in the kitchen, living room / main bedroom. The livestock nearby to gave added warmth on a windy winter’s night…

    – Kasia-D

  • joak
    joakover 5 years ago

    hud tae fav this its amazin

  • Joak, thank you! Hoped you might like this one:-)

    – Kasia-D

  • photosecosse /barbara jones
    photosecosse /...over 5 years ago

    Incredible shot !

  • Barbara, thank you very much. I love your work and am very pleased you like this one!

    – Kasia-D

desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait

10%off for joining

the Redbubble mailing list

Receive exclusive deals and awesome artist news and content right to your inbox. Free for your convenience.