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.
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.
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“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.