The old homesteads in the landscape of Ireland are very distinct and give a hint of the old ways of living, being close to the earth and open to the elements.
The first abode is a Rath which was built as a pre Christian settlement complete with a defensive ditch, similar to the Norman motte and bailey but with a lower mound.
Part profile of a Rath
The defensive ditch strewn with fallen timber, which
the owners are generally loath to remove, for fear of
retribution by the faeries which now inhabit this place.
Part of the top of the Rath which is now scattered with thorn trees.
An old mountain cottage now derelict believed to have been occupied by a forester and his family, consisting of four or five rooms, it has a pathway leading to a stream from where the family would have drawn water. It is located in a glen between steep mountain sides. As attractive as it looks in sunshine. Living there would have been an entirely different matter for the damp and the cold would have seeped through it's stone walls.
This picture shows a group of New Travellers in their bow-topped wagons camped on the edge of bogland during the winter. Sadly this way of life has now been denied, due to the local authorities closing off the old camp sites. Many are the happy hours that I enjoyed when sitting around the fire drinking tea and yarning on my frequent visits.
Photo taken early 1990's
If you think that your family has never been labelled as a Gypsy then look here