About Seann Taigh
The "seann taigh" was built around 1875 and was a typical Western Isles Croft House of its time. Being one of the biggest Thatched cottages of its time it consisted of 2 bedrooms, kitchen/living area and toilet. The cottage is constructed off dry stonewall and thatched by "luachar" (a special type of grass) which is grown locally and then cut and dried before being put on the roof. Five successive Generations of the macdonald/campbell family lived in the cottage until 1987. The cottage has now been re-stored to its natural beauty, with high quality workmanship and interior décor in 2005 by the last generation of the family to live in the house.
The dominant family in South Uist was Clanranald, who also owned Benbecula. They were descendants of the first Lord of the Isles, who was a MacDonald. The island's connections with Clanranald came to a sorry end, however, in 1837 when it was sold, along with Benbecula, to pay off bad debts, and became the property of the infamous Lieutenant-Colonel John Gordon Cluny. Though all the southern isles suffered during the brutal clearances of the 19th century, the experiences of people on South Uist were particularly cruel and inhumane. Between 1849 and 1851 over 2,000 were forcibly shipped to Quebec in Canada. Those who refused to board the transport ships were hunted down by dogs and bound, before being thrown on board and shipped to Canada, where they were left to starve.