26 August 2012

Cottown, National Trust

Spent a morning with the National Trust yesterday. We were at the Old Schoolhouse in Cottown on the Carse of Gowrie between Dundee and Perth. The Old Schoolhouse was taken over in the 1990s by the National Trust for Scotland after it had been left to decay. It is an earth brick building, one of the few remaining in Scotland. Built between 1745 and 1770 the building has earth brick walls  (straw-bonded mud) covered in harling and limewash and a thatch roof. Harling is a traditional building technique that has proven to be the best way to weatherproof buildings be it traditional stone masonry or earth bricks. Lime rendering allows buildings to breathe, quite necessary for an earth brick building. 

It isn't open to the public and isn't really used for anything, but on Doors Open Day on the 22nd of September it will be open for visitors. It was therefore in need of a little bit (well actually quite a lot but I haven't yet learned how to thatch a roof) of attention and our conservation group were duly dispatched to tackle the overgrown garden so that visitors will be able to actually see the building when they come.


Here's the before photo.......


And after 2 hours of manic chopping....


If this bramble bush is anything to go by we could be expecting a hard winter.... I've never seen so many berries on one bush!

We had just finished up and were about to eat lunch when the heavens opened and it poured....we decided just to go home and eat lunch there and headed off towards Dundee to find that it hadn't even rained 2 miles down the road in Errol. Typical Scottish weather - if you don't like it wait 10 minutes or drive 2 miles and it will be different!

3 comments:

christinelaennec said...

WOW you did a power of work! That is really amazing. Well done. I wish I could visit on the 22nd and see inside.

I've been having similar wonderings about the winter to come, given how laden the rowan trees seem to be...

Bethany Hissong said...

Our weather has just been like that lately! I wish I could see the schoolhouse because years ago I was really fascinated by straw bale houses and was determined to build one someday! I had all but forgotten that until I read your post. I remember reading that there are still homes in the United Kingdom that are centuries old and still standing. I didn't know about the lime. I always think it's so wonderful that you give your time to the National Trust work! And I also didn't know about the bramble bushes being prolific meaning a harsh winter... yikes!

likeschocolate said...

What a darling building!