I arrived in Arnol, a little village on the Isle of Lewis to visit the Arnol Blackhouse, but was too early for my slot. And little did I know that there are so many remains of Blackhouses in Arnol. I used my time to walk around the village and look for all the blackhouses and how they are used today.
Parked at the Arnol Blackhouse and started my walk around…
Arnol is situated on the west coast of Lewis and is a pretty typical settlement, maybe except for the number of blackhouses that are still to be found.
The older ones have rounded ends and appear as a series of conjoined cells typically with a central living area/byre with a porch and barn on either side. The later ones can be identified by their gabled end walls and the presence of a stone dividing wall between living area and byre. (Wikipedia)
The Arnol Blackhouse museum at No 42 is a great example of how people used to live, it is still in the conditions after the former residents moved out in the 1960s. Around this time the Historic Environment, which cares for the Arnol Blackhouse, asked the residents to not destroy the other remains of blackhouses or reuse the stones for other buildings.
But the blackhouses are still in use, one of my favourite ones is used as a playground, and others offer storage or just walls for sheep to stay on.