an inclined face on an external wall
The term 'blackhouse' has its origin as a description of the windowless and smoky interior of the Hebridean longhouse, and also as an opposite to the lime-washed 'improved' cottages with windows that appeared in the late 19th century and became known as 'white houses'.
Beltane feast
The Beltane feast is one of the historically attested seasonal festivals celebrated in the Highlands and Islands until relatively recently and revived in 1980s Edinburgh, where it continues to be performed every 30 April. A key constituent part of this festival is the use of fire as a potent cleansing symbol. Indeed, cattle were driven out to summer pasture through two cleansing and protective fires (Prebble 1966).
These are a specific form of drystone building that, in contrast to shielings, are commonly used for storage. They are particularly well known in St Kilda, and it is not clear whether they existed in any numbers elsewhere. They typically have corbelled walls, and a roof of stone lintels capped with turf or thatch.
Couples of composite or single curved timbers which support a roof structure, usually extending from the ground to the apex.
A gaelic word meaning 'in the direction of the sun' i.e. from left to right looking north or clockwise.
Hingin Lum
(Scottish) vernacular form of canopy chimney cantilevered from the wall, usually of timber or wattle and clay. Common in houses where the gable is thin or poorly mortared and unable to accommodate a flue.
The definition has been discussed in detail by Grenville (1997). In this context, it is used to describe buildings that sheltered animals and people under the same roof, with or without formal partitions, and without specific reference to the dimensions of the building. It is also used in part to define the winter buildings in contrast to summer shielings.
This is a Gaelic word meaning 'plain' but has been anglicised to refer specifically to the fertile Hebridean soil formed by the fertilisation of the peaty soil by the shell-rich sand.
Hipped. Where the roof doesn't end in a pointed gable wall but has a pitched area down to the wallhead.
A material laid on top of the rafters of a roof in order to provide a smooth surface for the slate or tile above. Usually timber boards laid along a roof.
A hut of rough construction erected on or near a piece of pasture, from Scots 'shiel' or hut (OED). Generally used in the summer while the cattle were at summer pasture for shelter, making butter etc.
Directly translated as people or host but associated with the dead in this context.
In this context, used to describe the natural earth that a building is constructed on.
Fulling cloth i.e. cleansing, shrinking and thickening cloth by moisture, pressure and heat. Gaelic term is actually luagh. 'Waulking' is possibly derived from 'walking' one of the techniques used in the process.
The act of separating grain from chaff, aided by a breeze.
The principal settlement of a community, occupied in part all year round.