Highlands & Islands

Historic Arnol Blackhouse on Lewis seen in new light

A historic Hebridean blackhouse has been documented using 3D imaging technology.

The traditional thatched property at Arnol on the Isle of Lewis was built in the 1880s on a site that had been occupied by people for more than 2,000 years.

Blackhouses were built at Arnol until 1900 and the home that survives today, and was scanned earlier this month, was still inhabited up to 1966.

Image copyright Crown Copyright (Historic Scotland)
Image caption A 3D image looking down on the thatched blackhouse at Arnol

Historic Scotland's digital documentation team used 3D technologies to digitally capture the blackhouse and other sites in the care of Scottish Ministers on the islands.

The other sites included the 5,000-year-old Callanish Standing Stones, also on Lewis, and St Clement's Church at Rodel on Harris.

The church was built in the early 1500s on the instructions of Alasdair Crotach MacLeod of Dunvegan and Harris, 8th Chief of MacLeod, and also known as Hunchbacked Alasdair.

The work programme forms part of the Rae Project which is seeking to digitally record all of the 345 sites Historic Scotland looks after, and their associated collections.

Historic Scotland said the 3D data generated will provide accurate baseline survey information.

The information can be used for monitoring the effects of climate change and the state of a site's conservation.

Image copyright Crown Copyright (Historic Scotland)

The Arnol Blackhouse digitally recorded survey was carried out using a range of different 3D laser scanners.

A nearby ruined blackhouse and a white house - a style of Hebridean home that followed the end of blackhouse construction - were also a part of the survey.

Image copyright Crown Copyright (Historic Scotland)
Image caption A 3D image of inside Arnol Blackhouse

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