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Thursday, 31 January 2013

Old Houses in Rannoch

In conversation with a retired nurse called Maclaren, then aged eighty-eight, in Newtonmore on 27th July 1952, Maclean recorded some information about the types of old thatched houses that used to seen in Rannoch. Such houses would be typical for a great swathe of the Highlands and Islands during the nineteenth century and also into the early twentieth century. 

In my day a lot of the old houses in Rannoch were thatched. The fire was on a stone on the floor up against the gable end. Before my day the fire was in the middle of the floor. Behind the fire against the wall there was a sort of shelf – teinntean. We had an aunt who lived up in one of those houses. We were in a quite good house, a slated house, but she was in a thatched house and had a croft. And they made their own peats and took them home. The thatched houses were very clean inside, everything scrubbed white, the dresser and the “sgeilp” for the plates. The fire was on a flat stone and there was the teinntean behind that. Then they had crusies for the candles. They made their own candles. I have seen them making them. That was before the days of paraffin oil. In my aunt’s house up the lochside there was nothing but candles and the teinntean. The cows were next door, but over in Killin they told me that the cow and the people went in the same door. There was a partition wall between them, but they went in on the same door. I remember that there were bars of wood on the lower rim of the thatch to keep it down. There was something keeping them flat. Sometimes iron barns were used.

Calum I. Maclean, The Highlands (Inbhir Nis: Club Leabhar, 1975)
SSS NB 14, pp. 1221–22

Inside a Croft House


  1. Droch theansa gur ann air a'mhòintich a bhiodh iad. Bha fear na dhà mun Chruaich ceart gu leòr ach tha fhios gur ann air Raineach fhèin a bha i a-mach, 's e sin an taobh shìos, mar a chanadh na seann daoine, an ear air a'mhòintich, timcheall an locha fhèin.

    1. Tha sin cho ceart 's a ghabhas a bhith. A bheil tobhtaichean air fhagail idir de na seann taighean tughaidh a b' abhaist dha bhith ann an an Raineach?