Barn challenges

First the good news… there is still an old barn on the croft. Agricultural buildings are an absolute necessity for equipment, feed, seed storage and the like.

Secondly the not so good news. It’s more hole than barn…

There’s a massive gap in the back wall of the barn, where the stone collapsed many years ago. There is no front wall at all except some rickety boarding that looks like it’s held up by sheer hope. The beams are unsupported, rotten in places and swaying in the wind at the back where there is no wall left to hold them. The tin roof is full of holes but is mainly still in place, which is what’s saved the rest of the walls, I suspect.

However, it’s salvageable. Let’s hope it’s doable and actually not too expensive, because after we’ve built the house and started the land drainage and tree planting works we’ll be restoring this with a bit of a wing and a prayer, and not a lot else!

11 Replies to “Barn challenges”

  1. Hello! Thank you so much for following my blog. 🙂 I just read through each of your posts. What a wonderful adventure you are on! Is it safe to say that everything has been worked out regarding the purchase? When will you break ground and begin construction on your new home? I look forward to following your journey. 🙂


    1. Hi there, thank you for following! Glad to have you along for the journey. The purchase process for a croft is a long, slow and rather medieval one, so although it’s progressing, it’s not finalised yet. We hope to eventually own the Croft in February 2019 if there are no final obstacles. And then it’s several months of planning applications, and finally the build. We hope to start in late 2019…☺️

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  2. J > Advice from a construction/building management professional with experience in projects like this (our own and for others) : Repairing a building like this would be very satisfying, but a waste of your money, which you will find will not go as far as you think, and certainly not as far as you hope. You would get a 40% grant towards the approved cost of a new purpose-built structure, and with far less risk from unknowns and uncertainty. You should also get £25k grant towards the house! (Both assume this a registered croft that you’re acquiring) Standard practice in the islands is to build the shed first, as you’ll be needing somewhere dry and secure to store building materials.

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    1. Thank you Jonathan – we’ll take a look into any grants that we can get, and hear the good advice. Yes, it’s a registered Croft


      1. Yes, we’re on it thanks and have been reading up as much as we can. As soon as the sale is completed we’ll register and meet for advice, along with the Scottish woodland trust, thanks both


      1. D > There would have been, but when the freehold is acquired, the grazing share is detached from the croft, and continues as a ‘croft’ of zero extent but with grazing rights. The previous owner would have retained the grazing share – perhaps he/she has one or more other crofts? Whatever, grazing shares, these days, are more hassle than they are worth : but you will be very limited in the livestock you can keep without the summer grazing to rest your croft. But we’re in the same position : we bought the freehold, still have the now separate grazing share, but are now considering not using it because the fencing is derelict and no-one else wants to pay their share of the cost of replacing the fence (even with 60% grant). You’re almost certainly better off without a grazing share!

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  3. Ah, I see. We aren’t looking at keeping livestock on the Croft beyond chickens to start with. We’re looking at running this as a woodland Croft to increase the biodiversity of the land, so will be planting mixed broadleaf species over a high percentage of it. So we agree, not worried about not having shares in the common grazings!


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