The term of 'tigh dubh' (blackhouse) only dates back to the nineteenth century. Until about 1850 all houses in Lewis, with the exception of some larger buildings, were of similar design. All walls were of a double thickness, built of dry stone and turf was used for the thatched roofs. But from the 1850s all new buildings, influenced by mainland designs, succeeded the blackhouses. Their single thickness walls cemented with lime mortar were in such contrast that they were named tigh geal (whitehouse) and the antonym tigh dubh was then applied to the older houses in Lewis. The older tigh dubb's were very dark and very smokey with only a single door (no window's) and only a hole in the roof (no chimney's) to let the smoke out. But they were warm. The blackhouse in this image is now a youth hostel with two chimney's and skylights. It is an excellent place to stay while your explore the Isle of Lewis. Also the Callanish Standing Stones or Calanais are not far away and are truly amazing. Check out the Standing Stones.

Title: Blackhouse

Location: Garenin, Isle of Lewis, Outer Hebrides or Western Isles, Highlands, Scotland

Eilean Leodhais or the Isle of Lewis has been shaped by the sea and it's harsh climate .It and the rest of the Western Isles are steeped in history and have been inhabited for over 6,000 years. They are truly islands of An Cuan Siar or Atlantic Ocean, with nothing but the deep blue sea between them and North America.

Go to for more on Lewis

For more on Blackhouses go to:Blackhouse Museum

Available in Mat Sizes: 11x14, 16x20 or order it in the larger sizes 22x26 and 28x32

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All images on this site are © Marcus Fisher Photography and may not be used without permission.