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.
19 thoughts on “Moss on stone”
That was a superb meditation on a wonderful olde house. Those Cyclopean slabs on the byre roof suggest a very confident age when the building was young.
The uses of mosses are well worth further thought. As both the first & last plants in any given spot they are a foundation for what comes later and a seal on what has gone.
With a well close by and located snugly against a drumlin it must have been super charming as a cottage.
Funny how your lovely blog posts about old stone buildings perfectly synchronise with my ‘driving mistakes’ viz yesterday., yet another old lady falling over needing 999 attention with 30 disgruntled onlookers hissing due to ‘incurred delays’. Crazy, You only can but Laugh and Smile & Think Yourself Lucky you are in Ireland where there are far fewer to contend with.
Jason your house should be very nearly finished now and I’m hoping to visit you there some day.
Lovely article, Louise, Great history.
Eddie thanks lets talk soon.
Beautifully and thoughtfully written piece.
Thanks Anna easy to while away the hours in such places.
What a poignant story about Mara`s life and Richard Tauber. My hero . I wonder if the old house will ever be renovated .
Material for a good documentary here .
A wonderful voice and plenty of intrigue. Alas it is one of many beautiful vernacular farmhouses slowly decaying.
Hi, lovely article. This house looks very similar to one I’ve had my envious eyes on for a couple of years since we started holidaying in Donegal – I don’t suppose it lies midway between Clonmany and The Rusty Nail pub?
Hi Paul there are many like it, too many! This one isn’t visible from the road and is near Lough Eske.
What a beauty. Thank you!
I absolutely loved this mossy house. I am fascinated by the many uses the moss has been put to in the past. I modern use is in the creation of “City Trees” in London – they are odd-looking things that are meant to reduce pollution in the air https://secretldn.com/city-trees-london-pollution/
Emma thanks for stopping by this blog and telling us about the city moss panels! I’m very impressed because according to the link, they do the work of over 250 trees!
I prefer mossy trees and stonework to look at though!