A Rare View of Irish Life

Many Irish families lived in poverty during the 1700s. English traveler Arthur Young sketched this scene of a farming family and included it in his 1780 book, A Tour of Ireland. The lack of adequate timber in rural Ireland meant that farmers often built their homes (called cabins) using ancient methods and materials like mud, stone, and sod. Their cabins contrasted with the medieval stone castles or Neoclassical mansions owned by the gentry and nobility in Ireland. 

Irish Cabin with Livestock
Sketched by Arthur Young
Paper, Ink
Courtesy National Library of Ireland