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Our Quarrier's Cottage at Balvicar

The rental for our first week in Scotland was a restored quarry worker's cottage in the village of Balvicar on Seil Island.

During the hey day of slate, these cottages were built in long rows. The cottages were two rooms wide and one room deep with a central loft stairs leading to two bedrooms in the eaves. They were built end to end, sharing walls for both stability and heat retention. Each group of cottages was anywhere from three to eight long. They were built almost entirely of slate. Slate stacked to make the walls that were then caulked and whitewashed. Slate roofing tiles that were held up by wooden beams.

After the end of the slate industry and the resulting abandonment of these cottages, they eventually fell into disrepair. Eventually the one weakness in their construction, the beams holding up the heavy slate, rotted and the roofs collapsed.

We drove all over the area and saw dozens and dozens of these kinds of ruins.


Some cottages have been preserved, restored, and modernized. Here is a picture of a row of these cottages that, except for the electrical wiring and satellite dish look very much like they would have 100 years ago.


Our cottage, named Balvicar, is one that was preserved and later restored with considerable amenities and creature comforts. It has a nice glassed in front porch; a cozy living room with a fire box; a modern bathroom and laundry closet; and most importantly of all... an absolutely fabulous, well equipped kitchen with SHARP knives!


Comments (3)

Brad'll Do It:

Wow! You can't judge a book by its cover. I was blown away by how modern yet "homey" that kitchen is, relative to the building itself. That's part of the fun of Europe, realizing that behind those "stuffy," or "bland" exteriors exist some very surprising living spaces. Thanks for sharing the "ins and outs" of your Scottish abode.

Looks real lovely, Deborah. I like your sharp knives emphasis, it seems to be always a problem.

Barb Cabot:

That kitchen must have been a pleasant surprise! Wow and sharp knives to boot! Lovely.

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