The modern mansions of the nobility and gentry are noticed in the parishes in which they are respectively situated. The farm-houses in general consist of a long thatched building of one story, containing in the centre a large kitchen, with lodging-rooms at each end: the front door opens into a yard, here called a bawn, on the sides of which are the out-buildings. The cottiers' cabins exhibit a mode of construction different from that of the more northern districts; the lower half being built of stone and clay mortar, and the upper of clay or sods, topped with a thick covering of straw thatch.

Oatmeal, potatoes, herrings, and some milk and butter, constitute the food of the poorer class; their fuel is turf; their clothing principally home-made frieze. Even in the midst of summer a heavy frieze loose coat, called a "trusty," is worn over the rest of the garments. The dress of the women is much better than it formerly was. The circumstances and appearance of the population located on the bogs, or their immediate vicinity, are very unfavourable.

On each side of those parts of the canal that pass through the bog, the land is let in small lots to turf-cutters, who take up their residence on the spot, however dreary and uncomfortable. Their first care is to excavate a site for a habitation on the driest bank that can be selected, which is sunk so deep that little more than the roof is visible; this is covered with scanty thatch, or, more frequently, with turf pared from the bog, laid with the herbage upwards, which so perfectly assimilates with the aspect of the surrounding scenery that the eye would pass it over unnoticed, were it not undeceived by the appearance of children and domestic animals sallying from a hole in one side, and by the occasional gush of smoke from the numerous chinks in the roof. The English language is everywhere spoken. The customs of gossipred and fosterage are closely adhered to. Gossips will fight most pertinaciously for each other; in all conversations they call each other by the endearing name; and not to have gossips at baptism would cast a deep reflection on the parents.

Kildare, County of | Kildare Baronies | Kildare Topography | Kildare Agriculture | Kildare Geology | Kildare Rivers | Kildare Antiquities | Kildare Social History | Kildare Town | Kildare, Diocese of

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