School: Baile an Chnuich (Hilltown)

Hilltown, Co. Wexford
Simon Murphy

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Houses of Ancient Times

Archival Reference

The Schools’ Collection, Volume 0882, Page 193

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In days gone by the people lived in houses built of wood and straw.
The mud was of a yellow colour and it was called yellow clay. Water was poured on the clay until it was soft and then straw was cut in short bits and mixed with the mud, and a course of this was put around the house, and allowed to dry for a couple of days and then they started to build again and so on until the house was finished. The house was roofed with poles cut about the land, and smaller ones were placed across these and both were fastened together with wire or nails. If straw was plentiful it was thatched with it and if it was scarce small bushes were placed on the timber first and fastened on with ropes, it was called stitching and straw was placed over it. Other houses were covered with heath. The fire was placed in one end of the smaller houses but in the bigger ones a wall was built in the middle of the house and a fire place was fixed up to the wall. This was called the kitchen and the other end, the parlour or bedroom. In most of the big houses an oven was built in a corner, and a flag placed about one and a half feet off the ground for a fire to be put under it to heat

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