back home NMNI HOME
  • explore /
  • engage /
  • enjoy

Duncrun Cottiers House

Click here to enlarge. Duncrun Cottiers HouseCottiers were landless peasants who survived precariously close to the bottom of the social scale. They only became numerically important in the middle of the 18th century due to population growth and increased pressure for land. Cottiers rented a house, usually a one-roomed cabin built of sods, with an attached garden plot and they earned their livelihood from any work that was available. The garden provided land to grow a crop of potatoes which formed a major part of their diet, and possibly somewhere to keep a pig which could be sold to raise the necessary cash to pay the rent.

The house was occupied by the Clyde family. Miss Margaret Clyde, a spinster dressmaker (the third generation of the family) was the last member of the family to live in the house.  She moved out in the early 1950s when old age compelled her to move to sheltered accommodation.

The building is structurally interesting, its most notable feature being the roof.  This is supported by cruck trusses rather than by the front and rear walls, which may be a throw-back to an earlier building tradition. The house was originally thatched with marram grass, or 'bent', the coarse grass which grows on the sand dunes of the Magilligan peninsula.

Original location: Duncrun townland, Magilligan, County Londonderry





Ask an Expert
If you would like further information about this collection you may contact the curator by following this link and completing the short form.