Blarney House Summary

bySineadin Blarney, Cork, Misc.and  3 Comments

The census returns recorded some interesting information on the types of houses that people lived in and also recorded whether there was any type of outbuildings associated with the house.

All houses were classed as being 1st, 2nd or 3rd class, depending on where they fell into the classification defined by the British government (details on this can be found at

I have summarised the townlands that make up the DED of Blarney and listed the number of houses for each year for each classification; it makes for interesting reading.

Blarney Summary

Overall there was not much of an increase; in 1901 there was 308 houses in total, by 1911 there was 336.

There were 20 1st class houses in the DED of Blarney in 1901 & in 1911 that had increased by 1 to 21.

There were 183 2nd class houses in 1901 and this increased to 213 by 1911; the number of 3rd class houses stayed relatively static; 105 in 1901 and 102 in 1911.

The biggest shift seems to have occurred in Monacnappa; there were 81 2nd class houses in 1901 and only 9 in 1911. What seems to have happened is that the enumerator of the 1911 census split Monacnappa into sub sections with Millstream Row, Muskerry Terrace, Shean Upper & Lower all being returned individually whereas they would appear to have been included under the umbrella of Monacnappa the previous return.

The table on the right hand side of the report lists the total number of outbuildings associated with the houses for the same timeframe; some of the 1st class houses have a high number of outbuildings (barn, stables, piggery, cow house, boiling house etc.) but it is interesting to see that some 1st classes houses have increased the number of outbuildings between 1901 and 1911. The most obvious one is in Kilnamucky which had 23 outbuildings spread over 8 1st class houses in 1901. That figure had reached 43 outbuildings for 5 1st classes houses in 1911. More than likely this was due to expansion on the grounds of the Hydro where it would appear, from looking at the details that, new stables, piggery, fowl house, cow & calf house were all constructed.  Business was going well for the Hydro during that decade.

If you would like to see this information summarised for Matehy or Dripsey just let me know and I can upload it.

SineadBlarney House Summary


  1. Catherine O’Connell Reply

    Hi, I noticed on the out houses a boiling house. Have you any idea what it was used for?
    I am just curious.

    1. Sinead McSweeney Reply

      Hi Catherine – thanks very much for taking the time to get in touch.

      I had the same question & originally assumed that it was some sort of laundry house – that water was boiled for washing clothes etc.
      Any other mention online seem to be for sugar plantations in America at the turn of the 1900’s where these “boiling houses” were used to melt sugar into syrup.

      I did however find a book called “Overlooking the River Mourne: Four Centuries of Family Farms in Edymore” by Michael Cox which described “a “boiling house” for ‘cooking’ potatoes for pigs and poultry”.
      It seems a plausible explanation but I can’t confirm that this is the correct definition – it is actually rather unusual that Google does not have the answer!

      If I manage to find a definitive I will let you know.


  2. Susan Reply

    This was very interesting Sinead and great to learn about the townland of Monacnappa being split in two and then coming back again. Thanks for sharing!