Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Bunratty Big Houses, Ireland

The Bunratty Folk Park boasts some larger houses that are the original houses, not replicas of other houses.

First is Bunratty House, the home of the Studdart family who descended from the O'Brien family who lived at the castle. The house dates from 1804 and is a typical Georgian home for the minor gentry of the day. The picture below is from the back of the house which has a nice lawn. The front of the house is cut off by a fence, presumably the edge of the Folk Park property.

Bunratty House

The downstairs of the house is a bit indicative of their wealth. The dining room is fine and seems to function only for dining, it is not a multi-purpose room.

Dining Room

A study provides a spot for the men of the family to conduct business.

The study

Upstairs are bedrooms for the parents and the children, showing the prosperity of the family. The toys are especially interesting to me. They blend some familiar things in surprising ways, like the wheeled rocking horse.

Master bedroom


Across the lawn from Bunratty House is the Hazelbrook House. The Hughes Brothers built this home in 1898 and they ran their dairy business there. The business really took off when HB Ice Cream became a popular brand in Ireland. The house even features an ice cream seller, which made us leave early before the children spoiled their lunches with treats. So we missed the upstairs.

Hazelbrook House

The Parlor (not the Ice Cream Parlor, sadly)

Through a hedge from the Hazelbrook House is Ardcroney Church. The church was taken from County Tipperary stone by stone and reassembled at the Folk Park.

Ardcroney Church

The interior is not very ornate, perhaps reflecting the early Protestant iconoclasm. The nave is very plain, as is the area around the baptismal font.


Baptismal font

The church has a modest piano that looks more decorative than useful. The pulpit too looks unused. L took the opportunity to sing a spontaneous religious song. She has done this two or three times before in other churches, probably imitating Auntie R who visited recently and would often sing in churches we visited. L makes up her own songs, such as "I am afraid but the Lord makes me brave" or "The Lord will keep me safe from bad dreams." These are both titles of songs and complete lyrics. It is very sweet to hear her singing.


L sings by the pulpit

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