Extract from Statistical Observations. of County Kilkenny, Written by, William Tighe, Woodstock. In the year 1800.
they wish to make grey frize; in which case, half the wool is dyed black; with copperas they use bark of oak, sallow, or docks; but alder bark is mostly used, as well as branches cut small, with a little oak bark and bogwood the bog alder, as it is called, which grows in marshy land, and on banks of streams, is preferred: alder and bogwood, give a good black.
To dye yellow they use resida luteola, weld, which is common on banks of ditches, and in rubbish: they put ¼ lb. of allum to a pound of wool, and as much of the plant as the pot can contain.
Walnut leaves with branches, and with copperas, are used for a brown or olive colour, and for red, bog-wood and madder, which were bought: neither this plant, nor weld, nor woad, isatis tincforia, have ever been cultivated, 'though they grow well
The people dyed their clothes long ago. There were blue dyers in the country places long ago. They used to get bogwood, coppers, and ivy leaves. They boiled them in a pot. They put the clothes in the pot, and boiled them in it. Then, they put them out to dry. They would be a blue colour when they would dry.
the house they would have to bend down to open the door to get in. There were only two windows on the house one in the kitchen and the other in the room. The windows were also very small. The skins of animals were used in the windows instead of glass as glass was unknown in those days. There was only one fire-place in the kitchen and it was called a hearth fire-place. The furniture in the kitchen consisted of a bed which was called a press-bed and a few wooden chairs covered with rushes. There was also a dresser which was used for holding delph. The old man of the house usually slept in the bed which was in the kitchen. The younger members of the family slept in the room. They had no lamps or candles at that time like we have at present. Instead they used splinters of bogwood which they found in the bogs. These were cut
The most harmful weeds in this part are chicken-weed, creeper, yarrow and nettle. Chicken weed spreads very rapidly and will smother up anything that gets in contact with it. Where land is good thistle and dockens are the most common, and where land is bad bogwood and nettle are to be seen. A nettle will sting but if you rub the sore with a docken three times it will cure it. Chopped nettles and oaten meal is good feeding for young turkeys.
Dandelion, gentian, chicken-weed
people knew very little about light for reading or household use. They had only strips of dried wood cut into lengths of about six inches. Bogwood was the best for this purpose and would keep lighting a long time. These were kept in a hole in the wall near the fireplace. Later the people made candles of tallow with wick in the inside. These were very dirty and spoiled everything when dripping. The first oil lamp came into use about seventy years ago and has improved ever since. Turf was the fuel always used by the people until a century ago. Coal was introduced into some districts.
in a field to dry. Then men would come and pound it and the women used to clove it. A hackle was pulled through it and the remainder was made into linen which was used for making shirts and sheets. Householder's used make their own laces from linen threads and dye them with copperas and bogwood. They used always spin thread for the making of stockings which was on a small scale.
There is no cloth spun or woven nowadays in this locality.
Within a foot of each other they put a row of scallops they set, they let a row of straw over it and follow on to the top and at the last row the scallops are exposed. Then the uneven straws are cut with a knife and brushed down
Rope making =They used plait the horse-hair and make it into ropes.
Dyeing - They used get coprus and bogwood and boil it for an hour. they used colour the wool or thread in it.
several acres of it began to move towards the West sweeping all before it. There were two houses in its way and these it swept away.
The families of one house named Donnellys were drowned because they had received no warning.
While on the move it could be heard for miles around, bogwood cracking and breaking and water gushing. It kept moving for five days and people all over the country came to see the sight. Its waters formed a river and flowed into the lakes of Killarney.
Candles were made out of the tallow of the cow or goat. It is melted and put into a mould and the wick, and the wick and it is left set. Then it is fit for use.
Long ago before oil and lamps were in use one of the old ways they had for light was a splinter of bogwood put into a hole in the wall. They lit the top of it. As the splinter was burning they had more left beside the fire, and when one was burned it was replaced by another.
Long ago the people used to make their own candles from tallow. They used to melt the tallow and then they used to get a mould and put the tallow.They used to melt the tallow and then they used to get a mould and put the tallow into it, and then they used to get a strong piece of cord and put it into the middle of the tallow as a wick. Then they put the mould into cold water to harden it and when hard it is put into hot water to soften it a little. Then it is taken out and ready for use.
The lamps the old people used were - a spool was got, and it was put on the neck of a bottle
Forty years ago there lived a tailor in the townland of Losset. His name was Matthew Daly. He made over-coats and suits out of woven cloth.
He had no sewing machine, and he sewed the cloth with his hands. He charged six shillings for making a suit of clothes. The house in which he lived, the ruins are yet to be seen. The land on which it is, belongs to James Smith of Maio. He remained there until he died.
Up to five or six years ago, my mother spun wool into thread. Then she dyed them with bogwood and copperas. Then they were of a blackish colour.
were able to take a firkin of water on their heads and a bucket or pitcher of water in each hand. Stories are told about some of those women who danced and often their petticoats fell off--they kicked them away from beneath their feet and never lost a "tip" or "batter" of the music. They were also able to dance on top of "soaped" tables. The eggs were exchanged in the grocer's shop for goods. If money was got it was lucky money. Egg money is lucky money. Money was not always given for goods. "barter" was carried in the case of flannel and wool. Much flannel was used by men for drawers, and waistcoasts and for petticoats and skirts and dresses for the women and girls. School boys wore flannel dresses up to the age of 12 or 13. The custom of boys wearing dresses was discontinued about thirty years ago. The flannel for dresses was dyed with bogwood.
Egg markets were held at crossroads and goods were given in exchange for the eggs. Pedlars were common and they travelled on foot with their baskets of useful household goods needles, thread, thimbles laces etc, and at the end of the years copies of Old Moore's Almanacs. They gave those in exchange for horse hair and also for money. Later on carts hawked the goods for them. One hawker was called "Soft Goods", he sold clothes and wearables. Marine store dealers
zigzag pattern. Two large needles and a woolen thread were used.
The women also made frieze from the wool and the men's coats were always made of frieze. There was a presser in every district for pressing the frieze.
There was an herb which grew among the heather; and they used it to make dye. They also used copperas[?] and bogwood and magenta dyes. Redville was also a great favourite.
Linen was also woven in the district but it is a very long time ago. No one can now remember the time when flax was grown here, but all the old women have
All the houses of the small farmers in this district were formerly built of stones and mud and finished off with lime. The timber used for the rood was usually planks of bog-wood and the rafters were simply small pieces of bogwood cut to the required length. The thatch was either straw or rushes which grew in marshy places.The houses consisted of two apartments a kitchen and a room. There were usually two beds in the room and one in the kitchen. The latter one was in a recess in the wall. This recess was always at the back of the kitchen and quite near to the fire and was called an "autshot". The fireplace was usually placed in the gable end of the house although some were in the wall which formed the division between the room and kitchen. I have often heard of houses which existed in the last century which had no chimney. The fire was
made in the middle of the floor and the smoke escaped through a hole in the roof.The floors of the old houses were made of a variety of clay known as "blue clay". This was slightly moistened and spread over the floor and when it was dried it got fairly firm. There are still some half-doors around here but they are gradually going out of use, as houses of a more modern design are being built now. The fire used in all farm houses here is turf which is got close at hand. Bogwood splinters and candles were the only means of lighting in the country of a generation ago. Some of the old people remember the candles being made, but the local trade has died out years ago.
made from rods, the twigs being the best. All the old people made ropes from bogwood "fionán" .It is cut and saved then twisted with a "crusicín".Weaving
1. Rushes were peeled. Some tallow was melted in a "slige" (a little iron pan with three legs and a handle [drawing in text]) and the peeled rushes were dipped into this and hung up to dry.
2. Splinters of bogwood - known as vir[?]. The wood was cut into very slender chips about 12" long. These were dried and used to give light.
Both rush candles and splinters were put on an iron stand. The part marked "A" was probably used to hold the thicker candle and was joined to B with a rivet - A could be moved up and down and the splinter or rush wick was placed between it and B at x.
As the splinter burnt down it was pushed up between A & B.
The only forge in this district is Murphy's forge, situated about a quarter of a mile west of the village of Meelin. It was built by the present smith's father who came from a neighbouring parish where his own father was a blacksmith also.
The last member of blacksmiths whose forge was in the village, emigrated to America about fifty years ago.
The "new" forge is built on the roadside and consists of one large apartment, having four windows and one very large (forge) door. It is roofed with rafters of bogwood and thatched with rushes.
Near its one fireplace is the large bellows, and in front of the fireplace is a block of wood on which the anvil rests. There is a large vice inside one of the windows which the smith uses to hold things. There is
Many crafts were carried on in this district in former years that are now discontinued and almost forgotten. Some of these such as basket-making and spinning thread for stockings were on a small scale for the use only of the household concerned.
Thread was also spun from flax which was taken to the local weavers and afterwards made into shirts and sheets. Householder's made their own laces from linen threads and dyed them black with copperas and bogwood.
On a larger scale the local blacksmith made nails, slanes, ploughs, spades, and gates for all the parish.
Local carpentars made firkins for the farmers in which they sent their butter to the Cork market.