Photograph of Sandaig Terrace in the early 20th century.
Courtesy of Mr Lachie MacLean
The design of Tiree’s thatched houses (known as ‘taighean-tugha’) is markedly different from those on the mainland and even from traditional houses on the other islands. The rounded curves of the roof and the complex pattern of ropes holding the thatch down make a Tiree ‘taigh-tugha’ unmistakable.
On the outer islands the usual pattern was a combined dwelling and byre with one door. Cattle were housed to the right and people lived to the left. Only one house like this has been found on Tiree where the standard design was the house, byre, workshops and sheds built joined in a line.
Traditionally Tiree houses face east. “Cùl ri gaoith, aghaidh ri grèin” (back to the wind, face to the sun) and “An ear ’s an iar, an dachaigh as fheàrr” (east and west, the best home) are two Gaelic proverbs from Tiree.
Black and white postcard of Sandaig Terrace.
Sandaig Terrace. On the left the MacLeish’s house, on the right the present site of the Sandaig Museum. (Original postcard in Filing Cabinet 8 drawer 2)