Updated: Nov 12
When looking for a permanant place to live on Jura it's hard not to daydream about a renovation project as there are plenty of derelict buildings scattered all around the island. Ruins of villages or strategically located dwellings now abanonded and deteriorating some with names some without! 'The Old School House', 'Mrs Leonard's,
Some are lucky to still have rusty tin rooves clasping onto sturdy stone walls, tested annually by decades of hebridean storm bashing. Little or no maintenance the farm byers and old cottages have become overgrown and waterlogged, old stone walls collapsing, rusty tin falling away, water seeping in and drowning floors. Swallows and mice the only inhabitants of buildings that were built by hand over 300 years ago that accommodated families, livestock, stored hay and machinery.
We decided to investigate further hoping to buy a ruin and some land and we fell in love with one particular forgotten cottage. Mrs Leonard's Cottage!
We scrambled over brambles, waded through bog and fell knee deep in buried ditches to look at old ruins. he cottage was open. When I say open I mean it had no door so we were able to take a peek inside. Mrs Leonard's Cottage, affectionately named by the locals because Mrs Leonard used to live in it. The last occupants had lived in the cottage with their new baby 30 years previous. No-one since. It was abandoned and left to the wilds of Jura, swallows had taken up home there.
One of our favourite books we read to the children is 'The Little House by the Sea' by Benedict Brathwaite .... this cottage was this exact cottage. The swallows lived there, totally overgrown and beautful.