Work begins on building 17th century house in Glencoe

The design of the building has been informed by a long-lost dwelling discovered by archaeologists.

Work begins on building 17th century house in Glencoe PA Media

Work has begun to recreate a 17th century turf house in the Scottish Highlands using traditional methods.

The house, a National Trust for Scotland (NTS) project in Glencoe, will offer visitors a glimpse of how people lived in the glen around the time of the 1692 massacre.

A team of craftspeople has in the past week broken ground and raised the building’s six-metre timber cruck frame, hauling it up without power tools using an old-fashioned gin pole and hand-winch.

The frame’s Scots pine and birch timbers have been sourced from NTS woodlands at Glencoe and the Mar Lodge estate, carefully chosen from trees with a natural curve to give the cruck its shape.

The building’s design has been informed by a long-lost dwelling discovered by archaeologists during excavations beneath the Aonach Eagach ridge in the heart of the glen.

The house is being built using traditional methods (Jeff Holmes/NTS/PA)

NTS said: “No local buildings survive from that era and creel houses have been completely lost from Scotland’s architectural landscape, but they would have dominated in west Highlands rural communities until the 19th century.”

Traditional methods are being used as much as possible to create the house, which is sited next to the NTS Glencoe visitor centre.

The glen was the site of the infamous massacre on February 13, 1692, when 38 members of the MacDonald clan were murdered by soldiers – acting on the government’s behalf – whom they had welcomed into their homes.

It has also featured in films including Skyfall, Harry Potter and Rob Roy.

People will be able to see the next stage of construction when the visitor centre reopens at the end of April.

This will involve the creation of a basket-like “creel” internal framework, woven from freshly cut green wood, and thick, insulating external walls built from blocks of turf.

The final stage will be the addition of a roof made from a layer of thinner turf below heather thatch.