Watch: Raasay’s Literal ‘Boat-Shed’

Here’s a short video feature I put together highlighting a unique building often lost amongst the various ruins around Raasay.

While not much to look at, boat sheds like this provided valuable storage and shetler without expensive roof mateirals.
While not much to look at, boat sheds like this provided valuable storage and shelter without expensive roof materials.

This ‘Boat-Shed’, literally made to utilise the shape of an old boat for its roof, could be a common sight on many islands and coastal communities around the UK. A notable example of these are the famous boat sheds on Lindisfarne that are made up of giant hulls cut in half. While Raasay’s contribution is much less impressive, it represents a more common style found historically. Old boat frames and hulls, no longer suitable or sea-worthy, were placed on shaped walls, then tarred and pitched over to form a sturdy roof for sheds and byres. Though this particular ‘boat-shed’ has long since fallen derelict, the unique shape is still plain to see. Located only a short distance from the Suisnish souterrain, keep an eye out for it next time you’re out exploring.

An example of a now derelict boat shed on South Ronaldsay, Orkney. Traditional boat sheds are still quite common on the islands.