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Peat was once the main fuel used to heat homes in the Western Isles and this tool was made to cut it. With a forged iron blade almost at right angles to its wooden handle, the peat cutter could slice regular blocks of the organic soil. This item is either original to the Blackhouse, Arnol, or it was given to no. 42 by another blackhouse or croft.

Peat-cutting took place once a year, in the spring. The blocks of soil were left to dry where they had been cut, then taken home. A large peat stack would be built nearby, and blocks taken from it all year round. There is a still a peat stack behind no. 42 today – and a peat fire burns in the hearth.


Date Made
20th century
h 1330mm (h 4' 4 3/8")
Time Period
Property Information
Arnol No 42 Blackhouse
Object Number
Access Status