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Derelict cottage

all offers of food and clothing. Islanders believed their Grogock was in and out of the Manor House and took on the appearance of some of the deceased Gages. A mile further on from Park Brae, at ‘the bridge’, you will come across an old prefab formerly used by workers employed by the limestone company at Killeany. On the other side of the road stands a derelict cottage. Te presence of elderberry bushes had me thinking that it may have been a weaver’s house in the distant past. I am reliably informed it was built in 1906. Te weavers on Rathlin would have used the hollow branches of the elderberry to make spindles. Te flowers and berries also came in useful for making wine. An application of elder

Blackie the horse 38

flower water is recommended for a pure com- plexion and against insect bites. On the negative side, elder is considered by some to be useless and dangerous and should be avoided at all costs. Perhaps that view has come about as Judas is said to have hung himself from an elder tree. If the sight of so many uninhabited cottages leads you to contemplate purchasing one as a home either for holidays or a permanent residence be advised, they are rarely for sale. Planning permission will only be given to someone who can show a family connec- tion with the property. Not far from here, and completely hidden by briars, lies the remains of a sweat house; this one

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