Lately while out rambling..
Thick with moisture loving mosses, these plants are earths oldest colonizers. A hidden world for microscopic plants and important home for invertebrates, mosses are particularly fond of stone walls.
This garden wall has niches built in, and while we’ve seen these inside cottages, they are quite rare in garden walls in these parts. I’m advised they may have been for geese or hens to roost in.
A fine farmhouse in it’s day, it was owned by a mysterious Russian woman called Mara Losseff, a soprano and film actress of some fame in 1930s Germany.
She had fled the War and lived here in Donegal for a number of years, before abandoning this homestead in the 1950s
Remote and lonely
But lovely to see the old lime render still breathing
Note the splash skirt of lime one third way down the wall to throw off water
Hand dressed sills and lintels
Washes of coloured lime in bedrooms
And big old slabs in the byre roof. Looking at the 1830s map this is the oldest part of the building, which was then a smaller cottage dwelling.
During WW1 thousands of women were sent to gather moss across Europe due to its natural iodine content being good for packing wounds.
Moss was used to make bread during famine times in Sweden. Other uses have been for purifying water, packing food, bedding and insulating dwellings.