The Scottish Island of Lewis

The next day we drove to various sites on the Island of Lewis which is actually attached to the Island of Harris; the Callanais stones – an impressive stone circle – some other pre-historic sites and a Blackhouse village. These homes were all heated with peat which is still cut, dried and used for fuel.

History tells us that the people used to live in these stone croft houses, with thatched roof and a hole for the smoke to go out. Then they were improved with fireplaces and chimneys and a slate roof. Invariably they were almost black because of the smoke. Then people built more modern houses and painted them white – hence the names of black houses and white houses. Sometimes one can see both in ruins on a piece of land with another modern bungalow (one storey house) beside them so you can see the progression of comfort in homes.