July 26, 2012 § 4 Comments
Ok, we’re back!
Broadband has been connected and we’re surfing 2MB of internet goodness from the remote district of Ness, here on the croft at long last.
More thoughts on the move soon but meantime…
Week 1 on the croft…
First thing on the agenda is to convert the old byre into a loom shed to take my Bonas-Griffiths loom. Right now weaving Harris Tweed is my main source of income and without my loom on the croft then I just don’t earn. The Harris Tweed Act of Parliament 1993 decrees that Harris Tweed must be woven at the residence of the weaver so it’s not like I can wander into a factory and just keep pedalling. The loom weighs about a million tonnes and is over 3 meters long so finding a home for it has been a challenge.
The byre on the croft in a 1950′s/1960′s Board of Agriculture build (I think) and is pretty solid, some 8 meters long (haven’t measured tbh) by 5 metres or so wide with a high peaked and raftered roof. There are two rickety, old wooden doors, one in the gable end, and four cloudy skylights as the only source of natural light.
Until yesterday there were also an interior dividing wall, door frame and lintel and three stalls complete with old Oxford sinks as feeding troughs. There are a few nice old iron features for chaining cattle and some odd, old ceramic air vents. Dividing the stall-end is a water drain which drops about 6 inches into the concrete floor and runs to a drain in the far wall. That was until yesterday.
A day of swinging a sledgehammer brought the walls and stalls tumbling down and after an afternoon of clearing the remaining rubble there is a nice big airy space left to play with. The door and lintel were a bitch to bring down, made from hand poured concrete and barbed wire. But once they fell the rest seemed a breeze, very satisfying to be honest. I’ve left in the Oxford sinks to take out a little more gracefully with a hammer and chisel if I can, they look worth preserving, even just to sell on if not reuse. There’s a little tidying up to do on the floor and walls where the brickwork joined but it should come up nice and not necessitate re-screeding the floor. It has a lot of character and I’m loathed to make it shiny and new again.
There’s still a lot to do before it’s the way I want it, have some nice old light fittings and bulbs sourced, the walls will get limewashed, it would be good to get windows in and a wood-buring stove on the go for the winter. But it will be a perfect weaving shed when it’s done, a couple of Harris Tweed upholstered chairs and a place to stash a bottle of whisky and I may never want to leave it.
More on the croft and accompanying thoughts as it happens but we’re underway again.
All good things.
November 2, 2011 § 1 Comment
Glasgow-based Studio KAP have designed and built a house in Linsiadar, on the north-west coast of Lewis.
A short distance from the Callanish Stones the site comprises the decayed and weather-beaten ruin of a nineteenth century house and a twisted tree.
Hard to ascertain whether this works or not from the pictures. Gut says no but am going to recce at the weekend, as I usually like their work, to see how it look in situ.
More info via Architecture Today
June 30, 2011 § 3 Comments
May 6, 2011 § Leave a Comment
Lloyd Kahn claims that shelter is more than a roof over your head. As the author and publisher of over a dozen books on home construction, Lloyd has been grappling with the concept of home, physically and psychically, for over five decades. Situated in the financial and housing crisis, this film profiles Lloyd’s ideas on do-it-yourself construction and sustainability
May 1, 2011 § Leave a Comment
This is the beautiful wee cliff-side Mangersta bothy built and maintained by a local couple.
Replete with window, sleeping platform and open fire grate it’s a great piece of simple, sensitive architecture.
Great views too.
More images via Kevin Campbell’s Flickr
January 11, 2011 § Leave a Comment
All kinds of awesome.
January 1, 2011 § Leave a Comment
A new year, a new project.
Details will be more forthcoming as the year progresses but if you’d like to get involved (crofters and local historians in particular) or just keep an eye on things unfolding then sign up on the website, Facebook and/or Twitter.
November 23, 2010 § 6 Comments
Thinking about building a new house on the island? Please read the following and avoid raising any more architectural carbuncles.
July 24, 2010 § 4 Comments
As part of my long-time, ongoing Walden obsession, I’m always looking out for neat pref-fabs, mini-houses and modern day sheilings. There’s a few flagged up throughout the blog if you care to hunt.
Well, here’s another one.
Plankbridge bespoke shepherds’ huts are a traditional, insulated and mobile design for contemporary year round uses such as a home office, studio, bolthole, music or garden room.
For those of us who bought at the top of the bubble and with the housing market on the brink of collapse, one of these plonked on a patch of croftland may become a reality in the future…