Historylinks Year: 1988
Information on a corn drying kiln on Iona, related to the corn drying kiln at Strath Laro clearance settlement Puill Fraoich site, from 'A RECONSTRUCTION OF A CORN-DRYING KILN IN IONA' by Miss M. E. M. Donaldson in "The Western Highlands and Islands", 1920.
The drawing attempts to depict Miss Donaldson's descriptions, as accurately as interpretive concept allows. It shows the semicircular end area (at one end) and the remains of a gable at the other, and close to this end two doors are opposite each other, one in each wall. About two-thirds of the interior at the rounded end consists of a raised stone platform three feet and three inches (1 metre) high, in the centre of which is a funnel-shaped pit with which a channel piercing the basement of the platform (in dotted lines) communicates from the front, which would supply the necessary draught.
Taking this identical architecture, but modifying it by simply substituting the hemispherical, or bowl-shaped kiln traditional in East Sutherland, together with two front fire-holes and flues, and recessing this round end into the side of a hill or mound, thus precluding the need for a rounded opposite end, conserving heat and economising in stone, and you have the traditional East Sutherland corn-drying kiln epitomised by the Loch Laro (Puill Fraoich) kiln, near Bonar Bridge.
Picture added on 24 April 2008