Celtic Roundhouses

Stair na hÉireann/History of Ireland

‘The distinctive straw-thatched Celtic roundhouse may seem primitive compared to Roman villas and Greek temples of the same era, but it was well-constructed, weatherproof and durable. It could be built or repaired with natural materials obtained locally.’

Contrary to many historical sources, the Celtic people were, in many ways, a very civilised and advanced group of tribal societies. Despite their barbarous reputation in warfare, in a domestic setting they were far from primitive, employing many farming, construction and trade practices that were cutting edge for the time.

Perhaps one of the most notable examples of their forward-thinking culture can be seen in their distinctive dwellings. Celts typically lived in roundhouses, which were – as the name suggests – circular. These houses were cone-shaped and able to accommodate a large number of occupants. The roundhouses were built out of wood and, later in the civilisation’s development, stone, with conical thatched roofs…

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