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No 9A Quidinish

A Category B Listed Building in Na Hearadh agus Ceann a Deas nan Loch, Na h-Eileanan Siar

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Latitude: 57.7803 / 57°46'49"N

Longitude: -6.9006 / 6°54'2"W

OS Eastings: 108802

OS Northings: 887292

OS Grid: NG088872

Mapcode National: GBR 98C5.01K

Mapcode Global: WGX3P.ZP5W

Plus Code: 9C9MQ3JX+4Q

Entry Name: No 9A Quidinish

Listing Name: The Golden Road, No 9a Quidinish

Listing Date: 9 February 2007

Category: B

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 399329

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB50800

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Harris

County: Na h-Eileanan Siar

Electoral Ward: Na Hearadh agus Ceann a Deas nan Loch

Parish: Harris

Traditional County: Inverness-shire

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Probably later to late 19th century. Rare survival of low, 3-bay, rectangular-plan blackhouse altered to accommodate 1960s corrugated roofing and porch outshot incorporating bathroom but retaining recognisable traditional form of slightly battered walls and rounded angles. Sited on steeply falling ground overlooking Loch Fionnsabhagh in Bays of Harris, and abutting rocky outcrop. Thinly rendered and whitewashed thick rubble walls (see Notes) with rounded angles and very deeply set small window openings.

FURTHER DESCRIPTION: symmetrical NW entrance elevation with later porch and bathroom outshot (ruinous) at centre, 2-leaf panelled timber door behind and windows in flanking bays, that to left smaller. Rear elevation, abutting higher ground, with tiny centre window breaking into cut away roof to allow intake of light.

4-pane glazing pattern in timber sash and case and fixed windows. Piended roof with corrugated iron following shallow pitch of thatch almost forming gambrel at ends. Solid square end stacks with cans.

INTERIOR: timber-lined passage running length of cottage with hooks including cow horn hook. Kitchen with Modern Mistress stove and main bedroom with cast iron fireplace. Coved ceiling lined with wallpaper.

Statement of Interest

No 9A Cuidinish is a rare survival of a once ubiquitous type. It is the only example of a 19th century Harris type blackhouse in anything like its original form along the whole length of the Golden Road, so-called owing to the enormous cost of construction, and described by Shaw Grant as 'a tortuous switchback substandard track winding like a roller coaster round the Bays of Harris'. Prior to the building of this road in 1897, the only form of transport was by sea. The cottage would originally have been a dry stone structure comprising 2 boulder walls with earth and gravel central core, the walls have now been pointed. The roof, formerly thatched with straw or possibly marram grass, has been covered with corrugated iron splayed at the base to cover the thick wallhead or 'tobhta'. The thatch would have ended at the inside wall face. The interior retains original features in its cast iron fireplace and timber lined walls, as well as the later 'Modern Mistress' stove (as described by local author Finlay J Macdonald) and paper-lined ceiling which was a convenient way to prevent insects falling from the thatch. The tradition of building a small porch from left over roofing material is also mentioned by Finlay J Macdonald describing the croft house built by his father after WWI, and adding a bathroom to the porch outshot was later adopted as common practice.

9A Quidinish was occupied until 1995 by the widow of Donald Morrison, and had previously belonged to his father Murdo Morrison who was a cottar on croft No 9. Murdo Morrison married in 1889 and the house is thought to have been built shortly after this date.

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