In light of the exhibition mentioned on the news page, does anyone know of a good book or source of information on the development of Ireland’s most iconic vernacular structure? Preferably one that bypasses the sentimental aspect.
There’s the Maura Shaffrey/Walter Pfeiffer one, with an intro by Frank McDonald, called something like ‘The Irish Thatched Cottage’. Maybe slightly sentimental, but largely good if a little insubstantial. Could be a bit tricky to find in the shops.
Sean Rothery’s books on ‘everyday architecture’ and the like are also good, mainly for illustrations. Still in print.
Then there’s the two books by the Shaffreys, one on buildings of Irish towns, the other on buildings in the Irish countryside. Both still in print.
Non-book: the OPW carried out a number of surveys in the days before Duchas existed, mapping the locations of thatched houses. None of the info was ever published, but I’m sure it’s still in a box in the attic:) . The work was done largely by one man, Michael Higginbotham, who had semi-retired by the time I moved into his office in 1997. There were various bits scattered around the room but nothing definitive. The OPW has an in-house library- might be worth giving them a ring to see if they have the bound volumes of individual building records on their shelves (I don’t work there any more).
Have you any specific questions? I might be able to answer them from the info I gleaned on the quieter days in the OPW offices.;)