The public house or pub is synonymous in Ireland as a social space and identity marker. Another structure associated with Irish identity is the thatched dwelling. With these two building types in mind what better is there to experience Irish heritage than a pub that is also thatched? These hybrids are not as common in Ireland as you would think, so where they exist they should be celebrated. Here, traditional Irish design expert Marion McGarry outlines some of her favourite Irish pubs that have thatched roofs.
10. The Thatch Bar, Co. Limerick
Located in Castleroberts near Adare, a village known for its ‘landlord’ style thatch, however, the Thatch Bar is a beautiful example of local ‘vernacular thatch’. The building dates back to the 1700’s and is a renowned traditional music venue known for its charming atmosphere.
9. The Thatch, Co. Offaly
Located in the village of Crinkill, The Thatch Bar and Restaurant is one of the oldest pubs in Offaly. Once known as ‘Mother Walsh’s’ it has been owned by the same family for two centuries. It has a fine thatched roof and traditional Irish bar interior with tongue and groove panelling painted timbers and exposed brickwork.
8. Crosskeys Pub, Co. Antrim
Said to be Ireland’s oldest thatched pub the Crosskeys dates to 1654. It is approximately 30 minutes from Belfast, and is north of Lough Neagh. It has all the characteristics of a very old building such as uneven walls, stone floors and low ceilings with a roaring turf fire which creates a memorable atmosphere. It is a famous traditional music venue and is also noted for its ‘storytelling’ nights.
7. The Thatched Cottage, Co. Tipperary
The Thatched Cottage is located in Tipperary near scenic Lough Derg on the River Shannon. The building has been preserved and restored to its original state, and there is an appropriate old-world atmosphere within. It has a bar, a restaurant, a banqueting room, ‘Nell’s Cottage’ and a kids’ area.
6. The Old Thatch, Killeagh, Co. Cork
The Old Thatch pub has a beautifully thatched hipped roof and is one of the oldest thatched pubs in the south of Ireland, dating back to the 1660s. It has been owned and run by the same family for over 300 years and was renovated in 1962, with an inner ceiling made of Irish willow twig. It has a riverside beer garden and a restaurant.