Ramscraigs - A Caithness Story

The history, genealogy and folklore of the Henderson family of Ramscraigs, Berriedale and Dunbeath, Caithness


Home Login
Album list Last uploads Last comments Most viewed Top rated My Favorites Search
Home > Highland Folk Museum

TITLE  +   - 
FILE NAME  +   - 
DATE  +   - 
POSITION  +   - 
Weaver Interior.JPG
Interior of the Weaver's Cottage373 viewsA small highland blackhouse structure at Baile Gean that is devoted to weaving. This loom is a re-construction of a period loom, and is actually used by museum staff to create tartan fabrics. In a highland village, not everyone worked the land. Some people earned their keep through weaving, iron smithing and shoe making.
Tacksmans House 3.JPG
Tacksman's House Exterior359 viewsAn exterior view of the Tacksman's house at Baile Gean. This is the main house in the villiage, and would be the family of the man who held the tack, or lease for the lands of the village. This structure, more than the others, helped me better interpret the ruins at Knockfin, as the foundation for the main house are still clearly visible, and actually quite similar in size to this blackhouse structure. Note the tartan rugs hanging on the door.
Tacksmans House 2.JPG
Tacksman's House Interior400 viewsAn interior view of the Tacksman's blackhouse at Baile Gean, Newtonmore. The central peat hearth his hosting a wonderful smokey fire. The low chairs are similar to what would have been typical furniture in such a house, along with the dirt floors. Tartan fabrics hang on the walls to better insulate against the cold winds, and provide decor.
Shieling 2.JPG
Newtonmore Sheiling Hut304 viewsUphill from Baile Gean are a pair of sheiling huts, small rough structures constructed to provide shelter during the summer. During the longer days, the cattle, sheep and goats were moved from the village to higher pasture land, and the people assigned to tend the flocks lived in these huts. These pastures were at times many miles away from the village.
Shieling 1.JPG
Newtonmore Sheiling Hut (2)428 viewsA second example of a sheiling hut near the Baile Gean village in Newtonmore.
Newtonmore Village 1.JPG
Baile Gean Village378 viewsA wide angle view of the Baile Gean village, in the foreground is a stockman's house where the family kept hogs and sheep. The tacksman's house is behind the large tree on the right. The museum staff is seen constructing a new structure in the background, left.
Newtonmore Dyke.JPG
Baile Gean Village Head Dyke379 viewsIt was typical for highland towns to be surrounded by a drystone wall, or "head dyke" that both marked the boundary of the village, and kept the livestock from wandering unsupervised through people's gardens and homes. The dyke is clearly visible with the tacksman's house behind, and the grain barn / stackyard in the background, left.
Kiln Interior.JPG
Kiln Barn Interior364 viewsAnother feature shared by Baile Gean and Knockfin include a grain kiln. These structures were used to dry the grain in the cold, wet Scottish weather. Sheaves of grain were stacked in this structure while peat fires burned in a firebox below the floor to provide hot air to dry the grain. During my visit the kiln was in the process of being re-built, and the museum staff were kind enough to let me photograph inside.
Kiln Floor.JPG
Kiln Barn - Drying Floor384 viewsThe drying floor of the Baile Gean kiln, showing the wattle grate where the grain would be stacked. Hot air from the firebox would travel up through this grate and dry the grain.
Kiln Exterior.JPG
Baile Gean Kiln Barn Exterior400 viewsAn outside shot showing the Baile Gean kiln barn being rebuilt by the museum staff. Note the roof only has the turf layer, and is just starting to be thatched.
Cottars House.JPG
Baile Gean Villiage369 viewsA wide shot showing the stockman's house, the burn (stream), new construction on the left, and the kiln barn center.
Blackhouse 2 Interior 2.JPG
Blackhouse Interior - Cottar's House554 viewsThis is the interior of a highland blackhouse at the Baile Gean. This photo shows the dirt floor with the rough timber couples, and long rafters or "Cabers" framing the thatched roof. Also prominent is a re-creation of a 1700s "Box Bed".
14 files on 2 page(s) 1