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Pitlochry, 156 Atholl Road, Sunnybrae Cottage

Cottage (Period Unassigned)

Site Name Pitlochry, 156 Atholl Road, Sunnybrae Cottage

Classification Cottage (Period Unassigned)

Alternative Name(s) Larchwood Road

Canmore ID 227111

Site Number NN95NW 126

NGR NN 93646 58315

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number AC0000807262. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

  • Council Perth And Kinross
  • Parish Moulin
  • Former Region Tayside
  • Former District Perth And Kinross
  • Former County Perthshire

Archaeology Notes

NN95NW 126 93646 58315

For (April 1999) watching brief, see also NN95NW 108.

Scheduled as 'Pitlochry, Sunnybrae Cottage... a cottage of basically rectangular plan, built of lime-washed rubble. Although apparently of late eighteenth or early nineteenth-century date in its present state, it may incorporate earlier structures.'

Information from Historic Scotland, scheduling document dated 2 November 1999.

NN 936 583. Sunnybrae Cottage (NN95NW 126) was acquired by Historic Scotland as an example of a well-preserved vernacular building suitable for presentation to the public. During initial surveys of the house the presence of a cruck frame and surviving areas of a thatched roof under the corrugated iron were noted. A detailed study of the thatch indicated a stob thatch roof formed of alternating layers of turf and rye straw. At the apex and eaves, broom had also been used, this also held in position by turves. Elsewhere 'grips' of straw and sharpened twigs of broom had been pushed into the thatch as repairs.

At the W end of the roof the remains of a hanging lum were identified resting against a false stone chimney. During the late 19th or early 20th century the hanging lum was replaced with a brick chimney. This was subsequently removed under archaeological supervision along with some of the floorboards and internal panelling. The remains of a trampled surface were identified in the W room indicating an earlier floor beneath the present floorboards. Recording of exposed walls is also revealing details of the internal arrangement of the building such as the location of the hallen (door screen), but evidence for the form of the hanging lum within the body of the building is so far proving elusive.

Sponsor: Historic Scotland

T Holden 2000.

NN 936 583 A detailed survey of this cruck-framed building (DES 2000, 73) has enabled the phasing of the structure, although the exact date of its original construction remains elusive. It is, however, thought to be at least 200 years old, but could be considerably older. The original walls were probably of turf, supported on a low rubble wall, with an earthen core. Over the years, the turf was replaced with mortared stone masonry but the cruck frame has been retained in situ. The survey has enabled the preparation of detailed reconstruction drawings that will form the focus of a small display centre on the site.

The floorboards were removed in the western and central parts of the building and the underlying deposits excavated down to natural. No evidence of a central hearth or original floor surface has been recovered, and it appears that the floor levels were lowered before the insertion of the suspended timber floor, some time in the late 19th century.

A series of excavated trenches outside the building have shown that the site has been subjected to considerable landscaping over the years, and also identified the presence of a small outbuilding, a series of drains and a sump immediately to the W.

Archive to be deposited in the NMRS.

Sponsor: HS

T Holden 2002


External Reference (24 January 2013)

De-scheduled 24 January 2013.

Information from Historic Scotland.

Field Visit (16 August 2014)

NN 93647 58310 Late 18th to early 19th century cottage, listed as having thatch surviving underneath its corrugated iron roof. Historic Environment Scotland bought the building in 1998 after the death of its last owner, and according to the website it has ‘carried out an extensive programme of conservation, archaeological excavation and research, which has illuminated the intriguing history of this building and its inhabitants’. The building is currently closed to visitors, and the interior was therefore not inspected. The listed building notes read ‘thatch (much repaired) consisting of variety of materials, layers include cereal straw, some light grey clay, grassy turves (laid grass side down), rye straw and broom twigs. Supporting cabers of small-diameter pine and birch’.

Visited by Zoe Herbert (SPAB) 16 August 2014, survey no.168


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