Sunday, 1 July 2012

The Crofthouse Museum, Dunrossness

We started the day with a very English beach barbecue on the beach at Levenwick for one of Beren's friends birthday. I say very English as it wasn't really barbecue weather - overcast, slightly drizzly at times and a little breezy- but the kids had a great time in the sea and burn while the adults had a good chat and fill of food.

Next it was off down to visit The Crofthouse Museum down at Dunrossness. We've not yet been though we've driven past plenty of times when it's closed, but it's well worth the visit. Here's a link about it on Shetlopedia that says far more and better than I can.

First stop though was a little wander on the coast at Northvoe near Boddam. Not far, just enough to get our legs moving after a few hours sat on the beach and to splash a few stones in the sea.

Looking from the old pier over to Dalsetter. The coast here is more relaxed than a lot of Shetland...


And looking out to Scarfi Taing...


The museum is just up the road from the coast and is great. The peat fire was burning with some tatties next to it, the salt piltock and reestit mutton were hanging over the fire and it was very cosy. Beren loved exploring it and setting the old mouse trap and the custodian was very friendly and full of information. I could happily live there!


The thatched roof is very different from thatch I've done and seen back home. There's a thick layer of turfs laid over the roof timbers and then the oat straw thatch is laid on and held down with  a sort of net of ropes and stones to hold it down. Obviously very effective.


A boat shed in the grounds...


 The workshop part of the building with a lathe to the right and quern in the left corner...



The croft house itself is a but and ben house. The but end been the kitchen and living area and the ben house been the 'posher' bedroom end. Each with a peat fire. 


This is the but end with some salt piltock curing...


Here's a bed in the but end along with a butter churn...


Another bed in the ben end...


The fire place in the bed end...



A knitted work day shawl on a drying frame...



Down a short grass track from the house is a couple of water mills...


Here's the view of the mill looking across to Dalsetter with the remains of a broch we visited just visible on top of the hill...



There's a stream runs down past the mills with a mill race that can divert the water down a chute to drive the horizontal mill wheel...


..which directly drives the millstone in the building above...


We all had a great day out finished off with a Sunday tea at Bigton Hall, which I think has the crown (in my opinion) for the best Sunday Tea. Though I'll have to keep trying other places just to be sure!


Even Iggle Piggle thought it was great, didn't you?







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