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Vernacular sites

If vernacular refers to building constructed out of local materials, using local craftsmen and in a local style, then most of the buildings described in this website are vernacular. However this section focuses on old farmsteads and domestic buildings and is different to the other areas in that it is more concerned with recording the buildings rather than encouraging people to visit. Most of these buildings are ruined or empty, a few are still occupied and some are on private land; for that reason no directions have been given. They are reminders of a world that is fast disappearing and as such need recognition.

Farmsteads & Domestic Buildings

The original Irish vernacular house would have been rectangular, one storey and thatched. Local materials would have been used and the building carefully integrated into the environment. In west Cork most early houses were made from local stone, rendered and whitewashed - though mud and turf was also used. Rooves were thatched, often using reeds. During the later 19C and early 20c many old houses were enlarged and improved - another storey being added, chimney stacks introduced and the thatched rooves replaced with slate. Various acts, including the Labourers' Act of 1883, saw the provision of 50,000 new homes for landless labourers. The Congested District Board also erected or improved 9000 farms between 1891-1923, mostly in the west.

There has been a huge transformation in building styles and although many traditional homes have been replaced they can still be glimpsed. The ruins of old stone cabins are everywhere, as are abandoned farmsteads - often you will see the old house left next to the new house. Their rich legacy however, speaks volumes about the different lives of vanished occupants and for that reason I feel it is essential to record them before they vanish forever.

Tadg Carthy's
Restored cabin
Small freeholding
Farmhouse A
Derelict farmhouse
Farmhouse B
Farmhouse C
Farmhouse D
Farmhouse E
Old cottage, Kilcrohane