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Latitude: 56.3863 / 56°23'10"N
Longitude: -4.2709 / 4°16'15"W
OS Eastings: 259890
OS Northings: 723870
OS Grid: NN598238
Mapcode National: GBR 0Z.1LGC
Mapcode Global: WH3LK.CRG2
Plus Code: 9C8Q9PPH+GJ
Entry Name: Briar Cottage, Lochearnhead
Listing Name: Lochearnhead, Briar Cottage
Listing Date: 18 June 1990
Source: Historic Scotland
Source ID: 335401
Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB4173
Building Class: Cultural
Electoral Ward: Trossachs and Teith
Traditional County: Perthshire
Probably late 18th century or early 19th century, renovated from derelict with additions to west end and rear by Findlay McKinnell Associates in 1997-2000. Linear range of two single-storey thatched cottages (now joined to form one cottage) comprising three-bay cruck-framed cottage to east; slightly taller and longer three-bay cottage to centre; two-bay section to west. 1997 extension at right-angles to rear of larger cottage.
Each former cottage has a central door with flanking windows. Two-leaf timber-boarded door to central cottage and half-glazed timber door to east cottage. 1997 rubble chimney stacks replacing original rendered stacks on east gablehead of each cottage. Although a once common form of vernacular construction, very few cruck-framed cottages now survive. This is a good example of a cruck-framed thatched cottage, occupying a prominent position by the A85.
Interior: the east cottage has a cruck-framed roof with two central crucks braced at top with two cross-beams and three purlins to each side supporting closely-laid common rafters. 1997 rubble chimneypiece to east cottage. Arched rubble chimneypiece to central cottage (kitchen). East cottage is open to rafters with roof construction exposed.
Materials: random rubble, including some large boulders, mostly at base and quoins. 12-pane glazing in timber sash and case windows. Tay reed thatched roof with turf ridge. Corrugated metal roof to rear addition. During renovation the harl was removed and the stonework pointed and left exposed.
This cottage was formerly Easter Auchraw Croft.
It is generally thought that the cruck-framed part of the cottage is older than the rest. The owner believes that this part of the cottage dates from the 17th century and that the central part of the cottage dates from the 18th century. It is, however, unlikely that this is the case. Although Easter Auchraw is shown on General Roy's map of circa 1750, none of the buildings shown have the same relationship to the road as the present one, and it is very unlikely that a simple cottage, such as this, would survive from that date.
Cruck-framed construction continued until the 19th century, and the building is more likely to date from the late 18th or early 19th century when Lochearnhead was developed as a village of crofts to resettle families from over-crowded 'fermtouns' (see Stewart). The two-bay section at the west end of the building was originally a one-room addition to the west cottage (shown on 1st edition Ordnance Survey map), and was extended in 1997 to its present size.
In 1997 extensive renovations were carried out to the cottage, which had fallen into dereliction and was in poor condition. The cruck frame was rebuilt using, where possible, the original timbers, and is no longer load-bearing. The chimney-piece in the east cottage (now sitting room) was built as part of the renovations, but the one in the west cottage (kitchen) is believed to be original: there are no old photographs of it, but the listed building consent indicates that the existing chimneypiece was to be kept.
Before it was renovated the cottage had a corrugated iron roof over old thatch. In 1997 the cottage was re-thatched with two different types of thatch to distinguish between the two building periods. The east cottage had heather thatch and the rest had marsh reed thatch with a heather ridge. In 2009 the building was rethatched in Tay reed.
The boundary walls, garage and workshop were all built in the late 1990s.
It is among a relatively small number of traditional buildings with a surviving thatched roof found across Scotland. A Survey of Thatched Buildings in Scotland, published in 2016 by the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB), found there were only around 200 buildings of this type remaining, most of which are found in small rural communities. Thatched buildings are often traditionally built, showing distinctive local and regional building methods and materials. Those that survive are important in helping us understand these traditional skills and an earlier way of life.
Listed building record revised in 2020 as part of the Thatched Buildings Listing Review.
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