Couple renovate 300-year-old stone croft house on the Isle of Skye with views of the Outer Hebrides

The aluminium panelled home with gravelled pathway has a separate outbuilding in a more traditional style with a triangle roof and brick structure
"Lochbay" is located in the Isle of Skye and has views of the Waternish peninsula which caused its owners to buy it (Image credit: BBC)

A 300-year-old stone croft house on the Isle of Skye has been renovated after a decade of work.

"Lochbay" is home to artist Denise, 74, and her husband Bob Cartledge, who bought the home due to its views of the Outer Hebrides and its unique features.

The home shows how renovating a house can be done is almost any location and in a home made from almost any material. Take the tour of the home below.

What is a croft house?

A croft house is a traditional type of dwelling commonly found in the rural areas of the Scottish Highlands and Islands. 

The term "croft" historically referred to a small plot of agricultural land that was either rented or owned by a crofter, who is a tenant farmer. A "crofter" has the right to build a house on their croft, subject to planning permission.

Typically, croft houses are single-story structures constructed using stone or a combination of stone and timber. They are designed to withstand the challenging weather conditions prevalent in the Scottish countryside, including strong winds and heavy rain. The roofs of croft houses are often pitched and covered with thatch or slate.

Croft houses are closely associated with the unique rural lifestyle and landscapes of the Scottish Highlands and Islands.

17th-century stone walls that are 4ft thick

The couple initially bought the croft house in 2014 and have been renovating ever since, although they didn’t realise just how big a project they were taking on.

The couple, who were orginally from the north of England, were forced to renovate on a budget after the cost of the home took up a large part of their funds.

At various point the 17th-century croft has walls that are four feet thick with stone which Bob took nearly two years to stuff all the gaps inside to get a smooth finish the couple could paint.

After almost 10 years the couple are still renovating the property with the couple claiming neighbours say the property is "unrecognisable" as the house didn't have any lighting before and hadn't been used in years.

Couple disagreed about the purchase

Despite the unique features in the home, the couple were divided on whether they should buy the property.

Bob was very reluctant to buy the house. He said: "When I first saw it I thought no way, I couldn't live here because it didn't look very homely, it looked a bit rough to say the least."

However, Denise was sold immediately: "I was keen, I wanted it straight away, but my husband was not quite so keen."

Although, Bob's mind was changed when he saw the views from the rear of the property.

Bob explained: "We love the view from here, that for me made it for me."

The croft house is located on the Waternish peninsula between Loch Dunvegan and Loch Snizort in the northwest of the island and has views all around the Isle of Skye which ultimately made up the couple's minds.

The home features on Scotland's Home of the Year in the Highlands and Islands category.

Ardmore Bay on the Waternish Peninsula, Isle of Skye, Inner Hebrides, Scotland

Bob's mind was changed when he saw the views from the rear of the property which looks onto the Outer Hebrides and the Isle of Skye (Image credit: Getty Images)
Joseph Mullane
News Editor

News Editor Joseph has previously written for Today’s Media and Chambers & Partners, focusing on news for conveyancers and industry professionals.  Joseph has just started his own self build project, building his own home on his family’s farm with planning permission for a timber frame, three-bedroom house in a one-acre field. The foundation work has already begun and he hopes to have the home built in the next year. Prior to this he renovated his family's home as well as doing several DIY projects, including installing a shower, building sheds, and livestock fences and shelters for the farm’s animals. Outside of homebuilding, Joseph loves rugby and has written for Rugby World, the world’s largest rugby magazine.