The Rambling House
There was always a big fireplace. People sat around the fire and they told stories of what was happening and what was taking place.
Storytelling is built into the psyche and soul of the Irish people. Storytelling and many of the stories go back to the most ancient of times, back to the times before people could write and their means of passing on information was to tell stories. Stories can be found in the hearts and the minds throughout the collective consciousness of the Irish, throughout every province, county, parish, family and individual member of the Irish people, even throughout the world.
The Rambling House
The fireplace has always played a very important part in Irish society; it was the heart of the home. There was always a big fireplace. People sat around the fire and they told stories of what was happening and what was taking place. Certain houses in every village in every parish became famous for night time gatherings and even day time gatherings also. They became “The Rambling Houses”. If you come to such a house you were a welcome guest. The family welcomed you as the Irish people have always done. You were an honoured guest at our house. You were entertained to a cup of tea (or stronger even!) and something to eat, and you were in particular very welcome to tell your story, sing your song and tell of your place and your travels, and from wherever you come. Ireland has been always known for its hospitality. Indeed in those times, if you were a wanderer or on your way from town to town there was often a settle bed in the corner or a bed in the loft where weary travellers could spend the night. In many homes there was a custom of putting an extra portion into the pot for dinner. This was called the Pilgrims Portion. It was that somebody may be coming by and may call for something to eat and they were a welcome guest at table.In The Rambling Houses where people met, even through the painful times of poverty, anyone who came was honoured, respected and made welcome.