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- Date Added
- Local Authority
- Planning Authority
- NN 56215 34141
- 256215, 734141
Probably late 18th to early 19th century. Outstanding rare survival of single storey, 5-bay, traditional cruck-framed cottage and byre under continuous roofline in near original condition with remnants of turf and thatch retained under corrugated iron roof. Remarkably intact interior retains rare hanging lum and box beds. Unusual construction of 2 drystone rubble skins with inner pinning of clay mortar, occasional bonding-through stones and dry rubble core; roof structure of cruck couples and cabers.
FURTHER DESCRIPTION: 3 bays to right form dwelling with 2-leaf timber door to small gabled corrugated iron porch at centre and small flanking windows, further tiny opening immediately to left of centre and byre door beyond. Both gable ends blank and 2 small openings close to centre at rear.
4-pane and plate glass glazing patterns in timber sash and case windows. Corrugated iron roof with metal cowl over hanging lum.
INTERIOR: very rare survival of unaltered interior comprising 3 rooms and byre sub-divided by timber partition walls; walls and ceilings to dwelling covered with variety of early wallpapers (some in poor condition). Jointed and pegged cruck couples (exposed in byre) set into walls and ending above ground; stone floors, cobbled setts with centre drainage channel in byre.
Kitchen (to left of door) with stone hearth under broad-mouthed hanging lum canopy incorporating bracketted shelf and pigeon-hole type storage shelf, all covered with painted paper; bench seat to right in adjacent ingleneuk created by partition wall to front passage, door to small middle room at left. Opposite wall with box bed and door leading to byre.
Main Room with 2 adjoining box beds at rear wall, both fully lined with variety of wallpapers, cast iron fireplace with timber surround and mantel shelf to outer gable wall and full-height wall cupboard to SW angle.
Middle Room situated at centre rear with box bed (timber and wallpaper in poor condition) abutting passage wall.
Byre with exposed roof timbers, cruck couples and evidence of thatch. Boarded floor over timber partitions creating loft space at E over small area divided from main byre space.
Statement of Special Interest
Formerly listed at category B under 2 separate entries as 'Moirlanich Farmhouse' and 'Cottage and Byre at Moirlanich'.
The longhouse at Moirlanich is an important and rare survival of a once prolific building type following the tradition of vernacular cottages constructed around a cruck frame. It retains evidence of its turf and thatch roof beneath the corrugated iron roof. Of particular note is the possibly unique survival of a virtually complete interior with rare hanging lum and box beds together with a fine collection of furniture and artefacts. The cruck frame or cruck couples, a once common alternative in Scotland owing to availability of local timber, at Moirlanich are formed of vertically split trunks of elm, ash and sycamore with tie beams and purlins of ash and pine.
Maps from as early as the 16th century show settlement in the Glen Lochay area with Easter and Wester Moirlanich as two distinct townships. By the time of the 1st edition Ordnance Survey map, the name Moirlanich appears to describe a straggling settlement close to a huge loop of the River Lochay. This handful of loosely associated buildings on the south bank, is reduced to just two small clusters by the beginning of the 20th century, with a small group to the west (later named Tigh na Craig) and an easterly group called Moirlanich. Together with its kail-yard on the south side of the road, the building described above is the sole survivor of the latter group. Exceptional in its unspoilt condition, Moirlanich belongs to a building tradition once found throughout the length and breadth of Scotland and variously named longhouse, blackhouse or byre dwelling. The plan form providing shelter for man and beast beneath the same roof became a well established and practical tradition abounding in local variations of material and building technique according to vernacular diversity.
Moirlanich, which remained part of the Breadalbane Estate until the 1940s, owes its existence to the fact that it was home to at least three generations of the Robertson family, tenant farmers and successful local horse breeders. The last family member to live at Moirlanich was reportedly very worried by the risk of fire and, abandoning the family home, spent the later years of his life in a small stone building on the opposite side of the road. Moirlanich was purchased by the National Trust for Scotland in 1992 using funds donated by the family of the late Sheriff Prain. A collection of working clothes and 'Sunday best' discovered in the longhouse are retained on site and form part of an exhibition on the history and restoration of the building.
Category revised from B to A 2007.
Historic Scotland Technical Advice Note 6: Walker, McGregor and Little Earth Structures and Construction in Scotland (1996) pp100-101. Historic Scotland Technical Advice Note 30: Walker, McGregor and Stark Scottish Turf Construction (2006). Fenton and Walker The Rural Architecture of Scotland (1981). 1st and 2nd edition Ordnance Survey Maps (1859-64 and 1898-1900).
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Printed: 16/02/2019 17:17