Bed time at the Irish Cottage

For most cottage inhabitants, a stationary bed was a pure luxury that they wouldn’t even think to dream of. Sleeping arrangements were a necessity to be accommodated rather than a luxury to be enjoyed. Personally I just do not know what I would do without my comfy bed and have all kinds of added extras to increase the comfort levels from memory foam mattresses to electric blankets. How would I have survived back in the day… In the beginning… Early and poorer cottage dwellers simply slept on thick woven straw mats by the hearth to take advantage of the dying heat. In the case of Byre cottages the inhabitants would sleep closely with the animals. The mat’s were then rolled away by day to make room for daily life – not too unlike modern beach mats. The next step up was to low divan style beds where a mattress fashioned out of old woven fabric or meal sacks and stuffed with straw or bog cotton would was laid directly upon the straw mat. Wealthier and poultry farmers sometimes had mattresses stuffed with goose feathers – this would have been an exceptionally valuable asset in a household and would have been willed down through generations. Feather mattresses, pillows and even perhaps the bed would sometimes also form part of a daughter’s dowry or ‘bottom drawer’. Thorough Beds & Truckle Beds In areas prone to flooding these mattresses were lifted off the ground on a wooden base with low wooden header and footer boards to keep the mattress dry. These were known as thorough beds and could sleep the entire family...

Irish Cottage Price Comparison 2007-2011

There is no way to put a single price on a cottage – they are as individual as each person on this planet. They will never be like the identical 3 bed semi-d in a large housing estate that allows for easy price comparison. The Sunday Times released their Price Guide for 2011 on the 6th of February where they have attempted to determine prices achieved by surveying an auctioneer in each area around Ireland. This survey is largely based on opinion so these statistics must be taken with a pinch of salt. I’ve used their prices for a two bedroomed cottage unless otherwise stated to calculate the average Irish Cottage Price. Unfortunately not every county had a listing in this category so not all counties are represented. One of the largest drops seems to have been in Dublin 14 ( Churchtown, Clonskeagh, Dundrum, Goatstown, Kilmacud, Milltown, Rathfarnham, Stillorgan, Windy Arbor) which is attributed to the ‘luas bounce’ – over enthusiastic buyers paying too much believing that the Luas would drive up the values. In the country the worst hit seems to be Co. Galway with the cost of a holiday cottage down from €425,000 to €130,000 – a staggering 70% price drop! A quick search of myhome shows that there are cottages for sale for as little as €35,000 up to €600,000 depending on the condition and location of the cottage. That will show you the range of prices in reality. It’s a tough time for people caught in negative equity at the moment but it is a great time for cottage enthusiasts as cottages become reasonably affordable...

Caraiosa Centre – holistic cottage renovation in Co. Westmeath

It is the dream of many cottage lovers to be able to live and run a successful and rewarding business from their cottage and recently I had the good fortune to meet with a couple who have done just that. On one of the hardiest days of the year my fabulous Focus ice-skated cross country from Carlow to Moate in Co. Westmeath to visit the cottage of Helen and Brendan Doherty – better known as the Caraiosa Centre. Everyone automatically thinks of the coastal regions of Ireland when speaking about its scenery but the midlands truly have a gentle beauty of their own. Long meandering lanes of roadways hugged by leaning trees, abundant hedgerows and scattered remnants of history – autumn is bliss in the midlands but equally on this frosty morning it was enchanting. Moving from the City Coming from a background in nursing and massage therapy respectively, Helen and Brendan took the plunge to relocate their entire family from their suburban lives in Bray to the wilds of Westmeath in 2005. Many people thought they were crazy, both were born and bred in the town but the idea to move had been in their minds for some time. As both were involved in very caring professions they were determined to find a space that they could live in and which would also serve as a peaceful retreat for guests. They viewed and fell in and out love with several properties before finding their ideal home in this pre-1830’s cottage. The Urban Rural adjustment On the first night they arrived at the cottage having packed up their lives,...

Welcome to Cottageology!

Anything and everything to do with Irish cottages!    The aim for this website is to provide a central location for information about Irish cottages from renovation and maintenance to history, living stories and lifestyles – all cottage related topics are open for discussion! I have always had a passion for cottages, their aesthetic, romance and hints of a simpler lifestyle woo me.   Finding the perfect cottage is a challange that can take years and the process of renovating one can take many more.   However I have always noticed that there is not one comprehensive up to date website devoted to Irish Cottages –  searches will bring up cottages for rental or trying to sell you something but very little helpful information about cottages.  I hope that this website will become a source of reference for those who are thinking of renovating or have already begun renovating a cottage with articles on each stage of the renovation process.  Hopefully, I will be able to collect case studies from each of the counties of Ireland and build up a list of genuine, recommended trades people to make potential renovators journeys easier. I would also love to hear from people who have lived, or currently live in cottages; your experience and stories will form the heart of the website, passing on knowledge that might otherwise be lost in the sands of time.  I would also love to hear of trades people or services that you would recommend to potential renovators in your area. And of course for people who dream of owning a cottage some day – I hope this website will be a place of...