diary /

While in Achill I explored the interiors of the abandoned single storey cottages that had been built early in the twentieth century. They usually consisted of only three rooms, a bedroom at each side and a living space in the middle. A few have been built onto and modernised but most have just been left and the inhabitants have either emigrated or built a brand new bungalow close by with all the facilities that these cottages never had. They are very atmospheric and poignant places. Often it looks as if the owner had simply walked out of the rooms leaving everything behind except just a few clues as to who they were and how they lived. The fireplaces in particular stood out as usually great care had been taken to build a decorative fire surround in what must have been a fairly plain room. These photos show a couple of those hearths and an old bed with straw bursting out from the mattress.