It's strange to be writing a story introducing the cottage after all this time but reading back over my blogs i realised there's no proper starting point, so here we are..
Trohanny Cottage and farm (formerly known as Maio/Mayoe farmstead) is situated in a picturesque rural area, one hour North of Dublin, just a few kilometres outside the village of Moynalty (famous for its steam threshing festival) near Kells, County Meath.
It was built in 1839c, after the night of the big wind destroyed most of the older original house, by a family called McMahon, originally John and his nephew William.
(See blog 'night of the big wind')
Trohanny Cottage is a typical example of an Irish style 1800's one story, three roomed vernacular stone building.
Built on one level with two chimneys and one small sash window per room with stone sills, with the exception of the kitchen and end gable have an unusual additional half window.
It has direct front door lobby access to the kitchen and open hearth with no access from the back.
It was built with local materials of field stone, lime and whatever wood (ash/oak) was readily available.
The roof is thatched with oaten straw with the original tin, old thatch, scraw (grass sods) and timber frame underneath untouched.
Originally consisting of a bedroom, kitchen, parlour and diary,
during it's restoration, Joe built an additional bathroom within the bedroom and the diary was turned into an extra room.
Four decent sized stone sheds of various uses roofed with corrugated iron lie along the roadside to make up an L-shaped yard, surrounded by ten acres of mixed grazing land.
It remained a working farm and home well into the 1970's until i presume the brother and sister (Jim and Jenny McMahon, the other brother Patrick was a priest and working abroad) became too old to manage it and hence moved into Kells town.
Having no relatives left to continue the line, the property and land were sold and bought by a local farmer.
As the farmer was more interested in using the land and had no real need of the property, it was left sitting derelict until bought by myself and my late husband Joe in 2000.
The bulk of restoration of the cottage started in 2001 and was completed just before Joe's death in 2005 (see 'The Stonemasons mark')
The restoration was done slowly and with very little money but sympathetically with a huge amount of hard work,care, skill, and dedication to keeping the authentic features of the original house.
I genuinely believe (as do others), that apart from public folk parks, it is one of the very few thatched cottages in Ireland that has kept a lot of it's original aesthetic both inside and out.
After Joe's death in 2005, I continued to live in the cottage with just my four legged family until around 2010.
After re-marrying in 2013 and with the birth of my two sons, myself and my new family built an extension out the back and live on site.
In 2018 after much deliberation and doubting (on my part!) we made the decision to start letting the cottage out as a short term rental.
It was a massively heartwreching decision at the time, but with the costs of maintainance/upkeep/insurance which were (and continue) to become increasingly difficult to maintain,
i realised in order to keep the cottage 'alive' I had to give it a go.
Five years on and words can't express how glad I am that I made that decision..
With loads of five star reviews, returning guests, location shoots for movies and documentaries, photoshoots by influencers, featured in calendars, having soaps, paintings and miniature models designed in it's likeness, being showcased on National TV as an example of restoration and with a decent following on social media,
it's been a whirlwind ride!
And who knows what excitement lies ahead..
What i do know is I am extremely proud and honoured to be the custodian of this unique little piece of Irish history.
Along with the good supportive energy of family, friends and residents past and present, regardless of the obstacles encountered as an owner of a thatched cottage in Irelands current climate,
I will always try to do my best for Trohanny Cottage,
the place I call home.
Go raibh míle maith agaibh go leir,
Áine and The Welcoming committee