A Sense of Loss: The Survival of Rural Traditional Buildings in Northern Ireland

Date published: 20 December 2016

Last updated: 05 February 2021

In 1996 the Department of the Environment commissioned work to examine the survival of rural traditional buildings in Northern Ireland.  The information was subsequently presented at a conference jointly organised with Ulster Architectural Heritage – ‘Bitz or Bliss’ in March 1998. The research is now historic in that there have been significant changes in the intervening period.


The Northern Ireland Housing Market Review and Perspectives 2015-2018 which can be found on: Housing Market Review for example, records that there were 116,400 homes in Northern Ireland that had been built before 1919. In 2011 87,000 were recorded. That implies a loss of around a quarter of surviving traditional homes over the 10 years following this research.  This report remains important, however, for its considered definition of rural vernacular dwellings and for the data it recorded.

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