19th century Folk Art at The Famine Warhouse in Ballynagarry Co Tipperary

Last Saturday I visited the  site of the 1848  Ballingarry Famine Warhouse a two storey farm-house in the wilds of east Tipperary. It gets the name warhouse as it was the location of  the principle scene of action in the 1848 Young Irelander rebellion. A visit to the house is a must for anyone interested in this period of Irish history. The exhibition is very well done and it is  free entry too.

1-phome 026

Ballynagarry Warhouse

I am very interested in Irish folk art especially  art relating to personal devotion in the 18th-19th century. As I wander around the exhibition within the  house, I came across  a small wooden plaque sitting above the fireplace now painted in a thick yellowish paint. The plaque has a cross design with a hand craved image of the the sacred heart above it.   It has two tin metal straps on either side that were originally used to  attach it to a wall. There is also a loop  at the top which may also be  have been used for attachment to a wall. At the base there is a strip of timber with nails which appears to be a more recent addition. 1-phome 031

According to the tour guide this  plaque was found within the house during renovations but its original location within the house is unknown. This piece likely dates to the late 19th early 20th century and it is an example of devotional folk art.

1-phome 033

Incised sacred heart at Ballynagarry

Similar type artefacts were  found in vernacular house around the country during the 19th -early 20th century unfortunately few survive today.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s