For hundreds of years it was the custom in Lewis for man and beast to be housed together under one roof. The blackhouse at no. 42 Arnol is a unique and precious relic - the residence of a Hebridean crofting family, and their animals, preserved almost as the family left it when they moved out in 1966.
When no. 42 Arnol was no longer occupied, the property was entrusted into State care. At that time there were a good number of Hebridean blackhouses still in use as homes; today there are none.
When the last blackhouse was vacated, a way of life reaching far back into the past came to an end. The Arnol Blackhouse is now the last tangible link with that tradition. In this guide, Professor Alexander Fenton, an ethnologist who greatly expanded knowledge of Scotland's rural heritage, evokes a form of living and working on Lewis that now lies beyond the memory of individuals.
Author: Historic Scotland
Publisher: Historic Environment Scotland
Publication Date: March 2023