As mentioned in a previous post, I visited Achill Island for a short break. What a beautiful part of the world. I’ve come back with the second post at last.
On a walk about it was recommended to me to have a look at the ‘Deserted Village’ also known as the Dead Village at the base of Slievemore. This, as you might imagine, was a series of derelict stone buildings that are thought to have been in use when the land was grazed by cattle at particular times of the year.
At other times it is believed that the occupants migrated back towards the coast to fish where they had their second house. All sounds pretty swish, until you realise that the animals and humans shared the same space. A living arrangement not uncommon in medieval times.
I did a little bit of background reading while strolling down to the site from the B&B in Dooagh and I poked around at structures when I got there. I kept coming back to the ‘dry stone wall’ references on the articles I had read.
Because… I found pink mortar with small aggregates. It was very brittle the touch and I didn’t pull any out, tempted as I was, because of the fragility, not to mention the protective status of the buildings. The torch on my phone was very handy though. I thought it might be an anomaly in the first building so, I checked others.
Out of 7 buildings, 4 had mortar in the heart of their rear gable walls (approx. north facing). Investigating is fun, especially when you challenge what are printed as facts.
If you have a traditional building (pre 1919), be it protected or otherwise, and you wish to upgrade it or give it some tlc, give Fortress Planning a call.