The Linen Hall

Saturday.—Was introduced into the Linen Hall; here is a sad memento of Ireland's blighted prospects of her once proud manufacture of this useful article. The desolated Hall, with its appendages, which once included two acres of ground, now and then in some dusty room shows a sack or two of linen, and in some dark hall a few piles of linsey-woolsey. Here was the son of an old inheritor of some of these rooms, when, in its glory, its coffee room was thronged with men of business, now standing almost alone in its midst, selling linen, to tell the inquirer what it once was.

Ireland’s Welome to the Stranger is one of the best accounts of Irish social conditions, customs, quirks and habits that you could wish for. The author, Mrs Asenath Nicholson, was an American widow who travelled extensively in Ireland on the eve of the Great Famine and meticulously observed the Irish peasantry at work and play, as well as noting their living conditions and diet. The book is also available from Kindle.