The thatched roof cottage with whitewashed walls is a powerful symbol of Ireland, fondly cherished by the Irish wherever they are in the world.

thatched house 5

The Irish thatched cottage is based on a simple rectangular plan.

The walls were built with stones found locally, pieced together in interlocking fashion, then covered with a mud plaster before being white washed. As we all know, there was no shortage of these stones in the west of Ireland.

Cottages were usually built with a door to the front and back, and usually oriented to the north and south. 

It has been said that these two doors were necessary to prevent mother-in-laws and daugher-in-laws from using the same door. Many sons brought their new brides home to live beneath the thatch with their beloved mothers, and peace did not always reign.

Separating the women was one good reason for this door positioning, but the most…

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