Kenovay thatched house
Photograph of a thatched house in Kenovay in 1990.
The beautiful thatched houses of Tiree (known as ‘taighean-tugha’) are one of the island’s most distinctive features. They are simple buildings with no unnecessary, fussy details. Before 1900 almost all the buildings on the island, at least three to four hundred of them, were thatched.
After 1900, however, many traditional houses changed their roofing from thatch to tarred felt and larger, two-storey stone built or poured concrete houses funded by the Board of Agriculture became popular after the World War I.
Numbers of the traditional thatched houses have steadily declined over the last hundred years. An Argyll and Bute Council survey in 1985 found twenty-three thatched buildings on the island and today there are only ten.
Colour photograph of the thatched house in Kenovay in 1990.
Thatched house in Kenovay in 1990. (Original in Filing Cabinet 8 drawer 2)