Home page link

Tadg Carthy's

Restored cabin

This single room cabin has recently been restored as authentically as possible by local people.The roof has been thatched with rushes gathered from bogs near to the site, the stone walls patched where necessary and two new cottage doors made, one on the east and one on the west side. Whilst restoring the house the original flagstones of the floor were uncovered and outside a small well was also discovered, the water fresh and clear. There was no chimney but an open hearth built against the north wall, smoke blowing through the half doors and up through the thatch. Inside oil lamps and candles provided extra light. A wooden ladder leads up to a sleeping loft.

This cabin is one of several that make up the clachán (small group of buildings) known as the Crimea (pronounced crim-ay). See Gortavallig for the full story. These simple homesteads were lived in until the 1950s and this restoration was carried out as a100th birthday gift for one of the last occupants of these buildings, Tadg Carthy.

Nearby site: Gortavallig Copper mines

Cahergal: an cathair gheal, white fort
Park at Cahergal and follow the Sheep's Head Way in a westerly direction. You can see the cabin from the car park.
V 766 378

This sympathetic restoration makes it possible to imagine what life must have been like in the countless little ruined cabins that litter the Irish countryside and make the not so distant past seem suddenly very close and very real. Life must have been tough but the thick walls, open fire,oil lamps and candles, utensils, and the bed platform show that comforts were available. Fresh water was freely available from the well; a few animals may have been kept in the small byre; potatoes and other vegetables grown in little fields whose walls are still visible. The families also had access to commonage on the mountains, as well as being able to cut turf for fires.