A Scrap of History

Links Cottage in Scarinish is being demolished to make way for a rebuild. Once a common sight in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland around the beginning of the 20th Century, corrugated iron cottages are fast becoming something of a rarity. They first appeared about 1830 and were known as ‘portable houses’, but it was not until the end of the 19th Century that they had a marked effect on the Highlands.

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Corrugated iron was a cheap building material and the buildings were invariably kits. “The original corrugated iron was in fact wrought iron which has remarkable weather resistant values and bearing in mind that it was a lot thicker than the corrugated iron you get today it was also more substantially galvanised. It truly was and still is a remarkable material, ” the curator of the Highland Folk Museum in Newtonmore, Bob Powell, states. “The quality of corrugated iron used for buildings 100 years ago was far superior to that bought from industrial suppliers today.” It has ben said that thankfully there were fewer kit houses on Tiree. Now one of the last remaining is about to disappear.

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