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.