The Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage is drawing up a strategy, due to run from 2021-2023, which will look at preserving and retrofitting old farm buildings and houses.

Farm buildings built in the vernacular, those that were built by ordinary people rather than builders or architects, will be targeted in the strategy.

These buildings are often rooted in ideas and ways of doing things that are passed down within communities and families.

Vernacular farmyards can be of courtyard, linear, parallel or scattered arrangement, depending on where in the country they are and the landscape surrounding them.

The new strategy will seek to improve the understanding among the general public and specialists alike of what vernacular is and why it is important.

A vernacular farm house and building in Lisatillister, Carrickmacross, Monaghan. \ NIAH

The Department will produce a short guide for owners of these buildings and the general public, and a more specialised manual for builders and other industry persons.

The Department of Heritage plans to run training days around the country to demonstrate traditional building methods and materials, once COVID-19 restrictions are eased.


Many vernacular buildings have never been looked at and the Department has said they may well retain features of great interest.

The strategy will come up with ways of recording these buildings and features.

The Department is to look at ways of bringing vernacular ideas into the mainstream, for example in the design of farm buildings.