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Bog Wood Chair

The older style 18th century longhouse was replaced by the new improved crofthouse with gable end chimney and dividing wall between rooms.

The peat fire was the main source of fuel for heat and cooking. There was no gas or electricity. Folk would have their own peat stack piled neatly at the side of their house so the peat would dry out and burn well.   The fire was the place where water was heated for having bath and was also the heart of the home.

A small wooden chair made by a local house carpenter from bogwood. The sides are made from two pieces of wood forming a natural right angle and the back and seat are connected by wooden spars. These chairs were deliberately designed to be close to the ground so that the sitter would be below the thick peat smoke. Dated early 19th century.

The division of land at the time of the Highland Clearances was under the strict control of the estate, with each crofter allocated a 2-3 acre strip of land or “lot” for growing hay and grass and building a house. The land on the coast was allocated alphabetically according to the displaced or “transplanted” tenants by surname, with little regard for the quality of the soil; it was a lottery whether a crofter ended up with poor stony soil or more fertile soil. The planned crofts were laid out in a plantation system, comprising linear strips of land tightly packed close to each other, on steep hillsides. These land and people management systems, developed in the 17th century, transplanted to the West Indian colonies in the plantation systems.