87 Aughnahoory Road,
BT34 4AH,
County Down,
Northern Ireland


Welcome to the first in our series of “A Day In The Life”.
Snippets of what life looked like on a typical day in Hanna’s Close.


“George’s” – told through the eyes of Norma Fisher (last Hanna child born at The Close). 



George’s was the main house of the “clachan” (group of cottages) when the original settlers set up Hanna’s Close in the 1640s after coming over from Scotland in search of a better life.

It was always used as a great meeting house. Families or groups of people would have gathered here.
Norma’s grandparents were farmers and her great uncle Robert was a prominent businessman in Kilkeel as well as an unofficial preacher (he used to hold meetings in George’s Cottage mid-week).

One of Norma’s uncles lived in the house with her family; Uncle Willie. He was not married but was very musical along with his brother (Norma’s father). He used to play the squeezebox (an older and less technical version of today’s accordions).

When you look at George’s Cottage today you will notice that it is all one long building as the main house was extended into the barn that was beside it. However it was not always like this. Back when they were two side-by-side buildings, Norma’s father and Uncle Willie used the barn to hold ceilidhs in! They even had visitors from Scotland every summer who came and enjoyed these music and dancing sessions with them.

On a normal day, Norma had to milk a cow every morning before she went to school. This was a smaller cow than some of the rest of the herd, and Norma’s smaller and more dainty fingers were perfect for milking her as opposed to her father’s larger typical farmer hands! After school, twice a week she would have to carry water from the well for the next day, as it was used to churn butter.


”Life was simple but wonderful.
Everyone had their jobs to do but plenty of fun was also had.”



For the men of the Close, dinner was made around mid-day (as opposed to the more modern tradition of having your larger meal in the evening). The farm work was done using 2 horses, so by the time 6pm came it was time to settle the horses down for the evening as they had laboured hard all  day. They would be made comfortable in the stable and given a nose bag full of feed.

After the evening tea was served, Norma’s father used to take his shotgun out and walk through the surrounding fields and woodland, shooting rabbits and foxes later in the evening. The men all used to also gather at a corner in the road in the evenings just down from Hanna’s Close where they enjoyed the banter and playing marbles.


If you would like to experience George’s Cottage, book through this link; we would love to welcome you!
George’s Cottage | Mourne Country Cottages


We hope you enjoyed reading Norma’s memories of a typical day at Hanna’s Close.
Keep an eye out for the next blog in our series, we look forward to sharing it with you!


Thanks for reading!
The Team at Hanna’s Close