On the approach to Strandhill stands Dolly’s Cottage, (co-ordinates 54.27055 -8.58458) a detached three-bay single-storey, pitched straw-thatched roofed cottage, built in 1850, the only one of its kind in the area.
It is a stone built cottage with two rooms and a loft with original walls, roof, roof beams, fireplace and pouch bed. When you step through the front door it’s like stepping back in time.
Dolly’s Cottage has hardly changed since it was built, and provides an experience of how people lived until the not so distant past.
The cottage is named after Dolly Higgins, the last person to live in the cottage. She was a genial soul, well loved by young and old in the district.
When Dolly died in 1970, the cottage was purchased by the Strandhill guild of the Irish Countrywomens Association, with a view to preserving it for future generations.
As can be seen from a watercolour painting I made some years ago, Dollys Cottage is an attractive thatched house, and an eye-catching feature on the main Sligo-Strandhill road. Long, low, proportions and simple square-headed openings are typical of the Irish vernacular building tradition, of which this house is a good representative example. Its thatched roof acts as a reminder of a traditional skill once much more common throughout Ireland.
The cottage has been open to the public as a folk museum every weekend in June and daily throughout July and August since 1970.
Admission is free.
Opening times: 2 – 5pm
During the summer there is a small craft shop at the cottage. All the money raised through sales and donations go towards the upkeep of the cottage.