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Gearrannan Blackhouse Village in the Isle of Lewis

Video 8:59 PM 10-09-20

Gearrannan Blackhouse Village in the Isle of Lewis

Darwin200 Episode 17: the Darwin200 team continues exploring the Isle of Lewis in Scotland’s Outer Hebrides. We visit Gearrannan Blackhouse Village. The blackhouses are distinctive, traditional Scottish stone houses.

The blackhouses at Gearrannan are designed to survive the cold, Scottish winters. They have thick stone walls (up to 1 metre wide) that were often insulated with heather on the inside. Each blackhouse has a double door so that the inner door could always be closed whilst the outer door opens, so as to ensure the frigid winds of winter are kept outside.

The houses of Gearrannan have thick, thatched roofs, the edges of which are traditionally lined with living plants (especially grasses) which grow around the edge of the roof and seal any holes in the thatching!

The houses of Gearrannan Blackhouse Village were lived in until the 1970s. Today, they are preserved and maintained as a tourist site. However, several other blackhouses across the Isle of Lewis have been renovated and are lived in to this day!

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