kitchen - this was the main living space, used as kitchen, living room and dining room
fire - used for cooking and heating with wickerwork fire hood

How People Lived

The cottage in which Mr Curry lived consists of three rooms, two side bedrooms and a central ‘kitchen’ area.

This small central space combines the functions of a kitchen, dining and living room in one and is entered directly from the half door. The ‘kitchen’ contains a stone hearth for the turf fire which sits under an open chimney. This has a wicker hood supported on a cross frame that has a shelf to store items that needed to be kept dry. Mr Curry would have used this turf fire to cook over, warm water for washing and to heat his home. A cast iron crane arm would have held a kettle or pan above the fire for cooking.

Each of the small bedrooms also has their own fire, used to heat the rooms throughout the night. In order to keep three fires burning throughout the day and night Mr Curry stored large amounts of turf in a shed to the back of the house.

The interior walls of the cottage are of whitewashed mud, the same as the outside. Traditionally the floor would also have been mud, although this has now been covered. Due to the small windows the interior of the cottage is comparatively dark, as the family spent most of their time outside during the day only minimal light was needed.

The cottage would have been sparsely furnished, Mr Curry would have recycled or made much of the furniture he had.

Keeping the cottage warm, preparing food and cleaning would have been a full time job at Curry’s. There was no toilet, bath or running water, all water had to be collected from the stream.


Burning renewable materials such as wood or turf on a fire to heat your home rather than using gas or oil central heating is more sustainable as it does not waste the worlds finite resources.

Being self - sufficient means very little money is required to run the home, a bit like camping!

Repairing or ‘up-cycling’ furniture is a good way to reuse unwanted items, saving them from being sent to landfill.

Mr Curry travelled around the countryside of Fermanagh by bicycle. This is both an environmentally friendly way to get about and a good way of keeping fit and health.