Peat yard

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Image of the Glaumbær museum courtyard

The peat farm was the predominant house form of the rural population in Iceland .

When the Vikings settled the island , they brought their usual longhouses with them. However, large amounts of wood were used for this. Due to a lack of wood in Iceland, this house shape developed later. It was widespread across the country and was inhabited until the middle of the 20th century . In some places such buildings can now be visited as museums.

The walls and the back gable of the houses are made of turf. The gable and the roof truss were made of wood . It was covered with flat stones and then covered with sod . If more space was needed in the yard, another house with a gable was built next to it, for example for a workshop or a forge . The only fire in the house is in the Eldhús kitchen, an open fire for cooking. But there was not warm food every day. Meat and sausages were preserved in the smoke from the fire. The largest room in the house is the Baðstofa. Here are the beds. But it's not just in the bedroom, people also ate here from wooden bowls with hinged lids. Here, in the evenings, people sat for kvöldvaka ("evening watch", communal get-together) while, for example, the wool was being processed, there was a reader, there was singing or poetry . This room was above the stables, so the heat from the cattle was used for heating.

Due to the material used, the houses did not last very long and it was quite cool and humid in the house.

See also