Iconic Connemara dwellings of contrasting fates
Driving throughout Connemara, one can expect to see many and varied sights usually of great natural beauty but sometimes ones of great traditions some harking back to the earlier times of much tougher but perhaps simpler lifestyles. This is perhaps best seen in the iconic stone houses and outbuildings to be found throughout the Connemara region. Many are in great order and beautifully maintained by proud owners, but also there are some in very poor order suffering neglect or even worse dereliction. Surrounding areas appear overgrown leaving no clues as to the whereabouts or indeed the existence of current owners. Are these once beautiful and skillfully constructed stone structures relics of a previous past and abandoned by a long lost or gone generation?
Nearby Rosmuc and only a short distance from the main road, a country lane wide enough for no more than a single car, leads to a small opening which is part hidden amongst the hedgerows but boasting good views to the nearby lake below, is a beautiful thatched roof cottage. No ordinary cottage however, because this is house apparently was the summer residence of the great Irish Nationalist Padraig Pearse. The house is strikingly simple and modest in layout and is apparently maintained by the OPW (Office of Public Works).
Not too far away and nearer the Rosmuc coastline, one encounters a dramatic example again of a well built stone dwelling except here is not unusual example of a stone dwelling with all the signs of a long lost purpose. Gone are all the signs of previous occupiers, the stone appears robust and defiantly resisisting all efforts of the harsh the weather to destroy. But alas the roof timbers have long lost the fight to withstand decay and rot. The roof having collapsed and in a very advance state of delapidation, appears to reveal not a thatch finish but rather a mixture of bog and clay sods? Or has the original thatch simply decomposed to a such a degree as to appear like an early example of a green roof? In contrast to Padraig Pearse's summer residence, here apart from a simple open fireplace in each of the two ground floor rooms, there are no reminders of previous trappings. Instead old straw appears strewn across the stone floor probably indicating that the building has at some point been used as a building for housing animals? Despite the great stonework and marvellous westerly views of the nearby shoreline, the stonework may be well capable of withstanding the elements for another hundred years and more, but it's future is little more than an iconic collection of stone testament to a bygone past.
Such a pity reallybecause these icons provide a window for us to look back and for many a not too distant past. Perhaps some may prefer to have no reminders or no interest of harsher times? Others might look back to the past with nostalgic bliss, but whatever your preference, icons of our past are worth preserving and represent an intrinsic part of our social as well as architectural heritage. Such icons must be preserved not just as display models but more importantly as valuable windows with links and clues to the development of Irish culture .
View All Blog Posts
Back to Blog Homepage
Ready to talk us about your next Landscaping project?
Owen Chubb Landscapers
1 Crannagh Way,
(01) 492 0904
(087) 230 6128