Traditionally Iceland had very limited access to timber. The old major timber they could get was driftwood arriving from North America or Norway. When the old Icelanders couldn’t get a lot of prober wood they had to find alternatives.
One alternative was to build the houses out of turf with only a little stone and wood to supplement the turf. The turf houses had an additional advantage – they were much better insulated than a wood house making the living conditions better during the long Icelandic winter.
One very good example of a turf house is found in Glaumbær in northern Iceland. It has been turned into a small ethnological museum and you can go and visit the house and see the way people lived in the old days. It is located only 8 kilometers north of the Ring Road so it is easy get there if you are doing the normal round trip of Iceland.
The turf house is actually a collection of small buildings next to each other. I guess the building style just didn’t allow building one big building instead they had to connect a bunch of small buildings. Each of the small buildings seemed to have a different function – like kitchen, storage, bedroom and living room.
It is interesting to wonder the old building and get an idea of how they lived up in the far north of Iceland a bit over a hundred years ago.