Monday, November 18, 2013

Bunratty Village Street, Ireland

Bunratty Folk Park features a Village Street which is a recreation of a typical late 19th century street. There's a grocer's, a post office, a tavern with a bar, a doctor's house, and other places to visit.

On our way there, we stopped at the tea shop for a snack. One thatched roof house we passed was under repair. Some other ones were interesting to me, but J was dead set on getting to snack time.

L in front of the corn barn repairs

No time for a picture, I need a snack!

On the Village Street, many shops dot the road.

Village Street

We met the Schoolmaster who followed us into the school. He had an impromptu lecture about schools back in the day. L was an excited student, J less so.

The desk set

The schoolmaster taught us a bit of Gaelic and we did some sentences in the Irish language. He explained that school was mandatory for boys and optional for girls, since according to the law girls should be home learning to cook, sew, raise children, and please their husbands. One lady listening said a bloke wrote that law and the schoolmaster agreed. Even so, girls were sent to school to learn, probably since everyone realized the need. The schoolhouse was divided into a smaller room for girls and a larger one for boys. A typical day had over 100 students, about 75% boys and 25% girls. And there was one school teacher managing them all from ages 3 to 20. It must have been a tough job.

The boy's school room

He gave some quizzes to the kids and after they performed well, he gave out treats in the form of jelly beans! So L loved being in school; since J doesn't have a sweet tooth, that explains his lack of enthusiasm.

The teacher told us a story of one student who had a sweet tooth and had taken treats on a regular basis. When she had left school, all she had left was that one sweet tooth! I'm glad he was a reenactor rather than a real teacher.

The street outside had the doctor's house and the pawnbroker. The alley between them featured some interesting advertising.

Vintage advertising

Around the corner is J. J Correy's pub, a typical village pub. It seemed a little bare inside but people just hung out back in the day, I suppose, rather than spending a whole night.

A bar with no stools!

No tables or booths either

The back room with a table and chairs, hmm...

The back room was probably the family kitchen as well as the pub kitchen.

We enjoyed exploring the old time main street.

Farewell, main street!

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