Sunday, January 25, 2009

The village street, St Kilda.

Leaving the Factor's house we approached the village proper and arrived at No 1 St Kilda. The first 6 houses of the type built in the early 1860's have been restored by National Trust for Scotland work parties.

The 1860s houses were built after a hurricane in October 1860 stripped the roofs off of most of the blackhouses which were built in the 1830's which were built using the gift from Sir Thomas Acland. In this view looking back down the street you can see the older blackhouses between the more modern gabled houses.

In the fireplaces of many of the houses, a simple stone commemorates the last residents.

This is No 16, the last of the 1860's houses.

Beyond it you can see blackhouse "V". It has thick walls with rounded corners not to catch the wind. It is built end on to the sea and the low door which served for both animals and people is on the side. In winter the beasts stayed in the downhill part of the house. The dung stayed there (until spring) but their heat rose. There are no windows. After the new houses were built most of the blackhouses were used as byres but some of the old folk returned to them as they were warmer and quieter than the modern houses with their galvanized iron roofs.

Looking back down the street towards No 1. Three figures high in the gap on the horizon give scale.

The relationship between the houses, the blackhouses and the cleitean can be seen in this telephoto view from outside No 12.

03/06/2008 am


  1. Douglas, thanks so much for these marvelous photos and comments. I'm interested in reading more about the claeteans (sp?). Alison

  2. Hello Alison, here are some more cleitean (pl.) cleit (sing.)