Thursday Doors

If you have ever thought about visiting Ireland there are probably certain things that come to mind. One might be thatched roofs.

This is a traditional cottage painted white, with a thatched roof, and the bonus of a great dutch door that appears to have two shades of red paint on it.


In the 1800’s, thatched roofing materials differed from area to area depending upon the wealth of the family. If using straw, it could take up to 5,000 handfuls to complete an average roof, and it might need to be replaced within ten years.

The craft of thatching roofs was handed down from father to son, but there are few craftsmen left. Even the oats and wheat used as thatching materials are hard to come by. They have to be harvested using antique farm equipment to not damage the straw so only a small percentage of it can be found in Ireland. Additional material may have to be imported from other countries like Turkey or Poland.

Today, there are a little more than 1,000 thatched roofs left on the island. We saw several along the country roads, made scones in one at a sheep farm and enjoyed a good brew and some Irish music in another.

To this untrained eye when I looked up at them and touched them, it resembled a huge brush. Fascinating, and just another reason to make sure Ireland is on your must tour list.

Have a great first Thursday in November. Cool, dark, damp, with a forecast of showers here. 🙂

Linked to Norm Frampton’s Thursday Doors, November 3, 2016.

About Judy @ NewEnglandGardenAndThread

Master Gardener who enjoys gardening, quilting, photography, and traveling.
This entry was posted in Photography, Thursday Doors and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

40 Responses to Thursday Doors

  1. pbmgarden says:

    Judy, you manage to find the most iconic images and interesting descriptions. Always fun to see what you’ve been seeing!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. pastpeter says:

    Thatch still survives in the southwest of England, where I grew up. It is a thing of beauty, and the art of thatching a wonder to behold! And yes, cool, dark and damp is where we too are in early November in the NH lakes – tho’ yesterday was a 65-degree sunny treat!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Would love to visit and see the building styles, materials and designs.


  4. Joyce says:

    I remember reading somewhere that thatched roofs were a cozy place to nest for birds and small rodents! I’m one of those who would have loved to hear gentle little chirping while I cooked in the room directly below!
    We’ve got the same forecast that you do – but its been warm so far, and that’s nice!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Beautiful! Love the lush lawn dotted with wildflowers too.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. joey says:

    i think the styles with the thatched roofs are beautiful 🙂 Great door!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Norm 2.0 says:

    Can’t go wrong with a traditional thatched roof. Nice one Judy 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Dan Antion says:

    I like the Dutch Door. The thatched roof is amazing. A lot of work, but if you could get a weather-tight roof from what would otherwise be tossed on the barn floor, it must have been worth it. I would imaging that the skill is dying off. I know, in this country, the skill involved with slate roofing is dying off, and replacement material is often hard to find. Thanks for sharing this great nugget from your travel, Judy.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. What a lot of work thatching is, but such a bit of history. As Dan said, it was using materials that were around. Now, not so much. But it does make for a lovely cottage topping. 🙂


    Liked by 1 person

  10. Nice photos, Judy. I’m always intrigued by the tiny windows. It must be dark inside most days. I suppose glass was expensive when this cottage was built and it does let the heat out. Speaking of heat, it’s warm here and getting warmer next week. No rain forecast, just long hot days.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Even when we were there 25 years ago, cottages like that were very rare. Too much upkeep and the cottages are small for modern people. But they are so … idyllic 🙂 A whole ecosystem AND living quarters.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Great post – so interesting – and I loved that first photo – so organic – almost like the plant on the left was reaching up towards the roof, which it had created.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Lovely photos, Judy. It’s sad to say that many thatched cottages have had their roofs changed to slate or have gone to ruin. There’s a government grant now available to owners to have their thatch renewed or to put a thatch roof on a new build. Hopefully, this might help preserve an old tradition. I was thinking about the two-tone half door. The top half is probably kept open on sunny days to let the warmth in and doesn’t fade as quickly as the bottom, as it’s in the shade.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Fascinating history and wonderful images.


  15. Eliza Waters says:

    Beautiful cottage. What a lovely tour you must have had.
    Have you seen the huge thatched roof at the Christmas Tree Shop in Sagamore, MA, right after the bridge to Cape Cod? I heard they hired Irish crofters and imported the reeds.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Candy says:

    Thanks for the great info on thatched roofs and the picture of that double door.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Oddment says:

    I love the way the cottage seems nestled into the earth; jodierichelle’s word “organic” seems exactly right. ‘Tis a lovely bit of Ireland. (As is your weather.) That red Dutch door with matching window frames makes the whole of it storybook-worthy. Thank you!

    Liked by 2 people

  18. KerryCan says:

    I was thrilled the first time I saw thatched roofs! I didn’t realize that so few still exist–that’s sad but not surprising. I hope they never fade out altogether . . . .

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Joanne Sisco says:

    I’ve always been rather fascinated by thatch roofs. I think it’s a marvel that they are weather resistant … at least I assume they are 😉

    Coincidentally, I just heard on the radio this morning about a company that is developing a roof shingle that is also a solar panel. The objective is to make homes energy independent. Interesting … maybe not as pretty as a thatched roof, but an improvement over the existing roofing materials.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. I was amazed a few years back visiting a quilting blog in Europe seeing her thatched roof. Love you having one to show! Her place is at for roof AND quilty fun! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Annie says:

    Beautiful image of an Irish thatched roof! Could be on a notecard? I grew up with dutch doors. My mother thought they were perfect for keeping 7 children + pets where she wanted them (in or out), yet have a little breeze wafting into our non-airconditioned home.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. germac4 says:

    Your photo of the thatched cottage brought back memories of a painting my aunt had of such a cottage…my great grandmother was born in one….. that would have been a tough start in life!

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Grandma Kc says:

    The photo of the thatched roof close up kind of reminds me of the end of a straw broom. Hard to imagine that it really keeps out the rain.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. treadway says:

    Thatched roofs fascinate me…I have even tried to find you tube videos showing it done…and I have watched some…

    Liked by 1 person

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