Houses in the Past

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  • Home life in Carlow

We may think that people in the past lived in either thatched cottages or big houses. However, like today, families lived in many different kinds of homes. Often, the type of dwelling was determined by the occupation of the man of the house.

A typical home for an agricultural worker, which was the main occupation for most of the rural population in Carlow, contained two rooms. One room was the kitchen, where all the cooking, washing and other domestic activities took place. The other room was the bedroom, where all the family slept. Irish families were generally larger in the past than they are today, so conditions were often cramped. Farmers' homes were larger, depending on the size and wealth of the farmer.

In towns, people often lived in terraced houses, which were rows of houses joined together. They may have had a small front or back garden or yard. Terraced houses ranged from very large to very small. Many old terraced houses survive and are in use today in Ireland's towns and cities.

Families who owned a business, like a pub or grocery shop, often lived in the rooms above the premises.