Posts made in December, 2013

If these walls could talk: Top 5 Websites for Historical Irish Homes

If these walls could talk: Top 5 Websites for Historical Irish Homes

In wandering the hills and vales of Ireland have you ever run across an abandoned house, cottage, castle and thought “if these walls could talk”?  Anyone who has experienced this soon feels pangs of sadness at the decay and wasting of many of these lovely old houses! Some of them in such poor shape that they will soon be nothing but a mound of rocks covered with grass and no signs of the from home and its grandeur. Fortunately for us some of these places have been restored to their former state and we can rent them as self catering vacation homes as in, For others there may be no hope of restoration.  But again we are fortunate that there are others who are equally passionate about these old structures and the history and have photographed and published these on the internet. One such historian is Tarquin Blake of Abanoned Ireland Blake, formerly of England and now living in Cork.  He started this project as a weekend hobby and it has grown now to a website, several books and lectures. Another person who has done a great deal of work detailing the history of old Irish country homes and mansions on the internet is Chris Deakin whose work may be seen on the website  Nobody Home .  Chris’s work features mostly castles that are falling to ruins.  A sister to this website is Former Glory.  Here you may buy one, sell one or stay in one of these old homes.If you are more interested in scholarly study of historical homes of Ireland then you will find just that at  the Center for the Study of Historic Irish Houses and Estates based in  Department of History at the National University of Ireland, Maynooth, Co. Kildare. The center offers lectures, conferences, and formal educational programs related to this topic. And The Irish Aesthete which is a study of Ireland’s architectural history and features many grand old buildings but also some everyday rural buildings and architecture.You will also want to check out the Irish Landmark Trust where you can actually stay in a restored historic property. The properties include cottages, gatehouses, lighthouse or other restored historic properties.  The Irish Landmark Trust is a non-profit organization that finds interesting buildings in need of conservation and through donations restores them.  Wonderful idea for your fairytale self catering vacation! Theses sites provide a great picture into the past for those of us who aren’t able to visit them in person!   Like this:Like...

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The Gentleman Who Pays the Rent

The Gentleman Who Pays the Rent

When I travel to Ireland one of the highlights of the trip is the Irish Breakfast featuring “rashers or Irish bacon”. I quickly discovered that pigs were very important in Irish history and still today. In the days before the Irish Potato Famine, many farmers were allowed a small plot of land on a large landowners property as tenants on that land. The Irish laborer or small tenant farmer was allowed to plant potatoes which sustained the family all year, but only after he had tended to the landowners crops. While the potatoes were usually enough for the typical farmer to feed his family they often raised a pig. The pig was so well cared for and coveted by the small farmers that they were allowed to sleep in the house! The pig was the means for the farmer to pay half the rent and was sold at market or at a local fair on or around May Day (May 1). The remainder of the rent was due on November 1. The days the rent was due were called “gale day”. I planned to write a full article about pigs in Irish culture. However, when I started my research I found someone had already beaten me to the punch! So here is the article I wanted to write done very nicely by Mairead’s blog Irish American Mom, Thanks for a job well done Mairead! Irish American Mom Like this:Like...

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