A survey of 2,403 houses in north Kerry in 1843 quoted by Alan Gailey produced the following statistics about size, roofing and lighting.
98.9% were thatched
99.4% were single storey
31.1% had only one room
48.5% had no façade window
20.1% had one window
29% had 2 or 3 windows
2.4% had 4 or more windows
Improvements were made to rural housing during the second half of the nineteenth century, after the famine.
|Census data reveal a massive decline in numbers of one-room houses between 1841 and 1851; yet at the earlier date, two- to-four-room houses still represented about half of all rural dwellings in much of Ulster and Leinster, and about one-third in Connacht and Munster.
Alan Gailey, Rural Ireland 1600-1900, Cork, 1987, p.100.
Timber or flagged floors were replacing earthen floors and parlours were becoming fashionable, though these often doubled as sleeping accommodation to provide unmarried males and females with separate sleeping arrangements.
19th century travel book
National Photographic Archive of Ireland
Photograph reproduced with the kind permission of the Museums & Galleries of Northern Ireland
Thatched house, Co. Tipperary, c. 1912
Courtesy Walsh family