left behind (2)

DCF 1.0Carrying on the thread from my previous post, here are a few more photos of the house and barn as we found them, eight years ago.

DCF 1.0The old porch (above) is only now about to be replaced – well, you can’t rush a good thing…

We’ve grown very fond of its vernacular character; the tin was soon dressed up with several coats of paint which have kept the rust at bay these past few years, but its ‘breezy’ nature invites the wild westerlies, which slam into us off the Minch, right into the house through the inner doors. I’ve finally decided it has to be rebuilt. It will be so sad to see it come down.

DCF 1.0When I first glimpsed the barn, walking over to it, I could see the remains of an old blue 1970’s Ford sticking out of the end wall, half-buried, beneath a collapsed garage door… But those walls!  I was suddenly able to see beyond the clatter of the rusty tin roof as the wind whistled through and take in the sheer beauty of the red sandstone structure itself. Such great care and pride had once gone into the building of it – and oh, was it solid and quite magnificent!

I imagined the vicious storms these walls must have seen off, as they comforted and sheltered the livestock within. As we walked around the barn, Ross and I looked at each other and knew we were both thinking the same thing.
What a space it was – at least 50 feet long by about 20 deep; while the light streaming   down through the gaping holes on the back-facing side of the  roof provided natural      skylights. It took my breath away.  (from “Drawn to the North”)

DCF 1.0

Opinan Croft 112

Opinan Croft 004Room with a view…

DCF 1.0We soon discovered that the only safe route under-foot across this room was to tread carefully on the strip of wallpaper  – the rest of the floor had almost completely rotted through, beneath the old carpet.

April Opinan 005One of the crumbling dormer windows

Opinan Croft 069A downstairs bedroom (above)…

April Opinan 006another dormer, its eyes half-shut as it was…

Opinan Croft 086… and the well-preserved bedroom behind the window above – the upper floor had certainly fared better against the elements… the broken windows, while letting in new ‘winged’ residents, provided the necessary ventilation to ensure that the damp conditions (it being so battered by rain and the pretty constant winds off the Minch) didn’t take their usual toll on the bones of the house.

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