Alasdair MacDonald of Kilmoluaig
Photograph of Alasdair MacDonald outside his house in Kilmoluaig in the early1980s.
Courtesy of Mrs Rena MacPhail
Alasdair MacDonald of Kilmoluaig is pictured outside his house during its renovation in the early 1980s. Starting at the wall-head, the turfs are laid upside down on the roof timbers and slightly overlapping. They are held in place by small wooden pins.
The turfs are cut from the moor or ‘sliabh’ during May to August when the ground is fairly dry. A well-developed root system is needed in the turf to hold the soil together during handling. It would take an experienced cutter five days to cut the 1,000 turfs need for an average roof.
If the turfing is done properly, the roof should be watertight without any thatch. If the thatch is kept renewed, the turfs should last for more than a hundred years.
Colour photograph of Alasdair MacDonald of Kilmoluaig in the early 1980s.
Alasdair MacDonald outside his house in Kilmoluaig in 1980 or 1981 during renovation work. Note the turves or `sgrothan` laid on top of the rafters.