Shell Cottage

This is a cottage located in Cullenstown in Co Wexford, a very small seaside spot that was the subject of my previous post. However, I felt this remarkable building was worth its own post.

It is known locally as the “Shell Cottage” and it is a charming, thatched cottage. What really sets it apart though is that it is covered entirely in sea shells – as are all the out buildings beside it.

The wide variety of shells, comprising all sorts of shapes, colours and sizes, were collected, carefully arranged and placed on the cottage by the late Kevin Ffrench, who is commemorated on a plaque on his former home (pictured below).

This is a fantastic piece of design work and must have required extraordinary imagination, skill and patience. It is not only beautiful, but entirely in keeping with the surroundings.

The intricate designs and patterns on the walls of the buildings include the well-known Wexford landmarkΒ Tuskar LighthouseΒ and the “Mexico”, a Schooner which was the subject of an ill-fated rescue attempt that saw nine members of Fethard Lifeboat die in 1914.

Posted on October 9, 2012, in Architecture, Art, Nature, Photography, Wexford and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 93 Comments.

  1. Excellent find Conor!!

  2. That is fabulous, such a labor of love for the man who built it. Never saw anything like this. Great post!

    • Thanks John. It is certainly a labour of love. Between design, collecting shells and actually putting them up it must have taken years. I bet he enjoyed every second of it!

  3. Northern Narratives

    Wow, that is amazing.

  4. That is really friggen cool Conor! 😎

  5. Beautiful, gorgeous, lovely, awesome! I want to live there! I really love the close up shot of the shells.

  6. Talk about a photographer’s paradise! Fascinating place! πŸ™‚

    • It is and I guess all these places I have taken for granted as I grew up with them. A camera actually helps you step back and really appreciate the beauty around you, I find.

      • So true! I am discovering that as I snap more, my eyes notice more – interesting lighting, unusual angles, emotional skies – and it adds so much richness to my day! A completely unexpected and delightful side affect of taking to carrying a camera… πŸ™‚

      • Very well articulated. I feel the same way.

  7. Wow…what beautiful works of art created through shellwork and the precision in the lighthouse design is magnificent. Thanks for sharing…

  8. Amazing creativity. thanks for sharing !

  9. What am amazing place! This surely must have been a life-long labour of love. I love the angle of picture 9, too. Very unusual and eye-catching. Thank you.

  10. incredible, someone really has time on their hands and a sense of unique beauty. thanks for spotting and sharing

  11. Wow! Absolutely beautiful… Surely he lives on through his work πŸ™‚

  12. beautiful details! What a find…

    • It’s so close to home I can’t believe I haven;t photographed it before, but then I’m not taking photos that long. Glad you like it.

  13. Wow, beautiful!
    A bit over the top, but still beautiful :).


    • Ha! He didn’t hold back, that’s for sure πŸ™‚ Glad you like it Claudia, you have a great eye (for clothes and possibly sea shells!).

      • Haha who knows ;), a blog about sea shells…


      • A cheesy joke from MIlton Jones:

        β€œMy wife… it’s difficult to say what she does. She sells sea shells on the seashore”

  14. Learn something new everyday about the country I live in! Bit of a shell collector myself so will visit this when next down South. Do you know of “tabby” being used in Ireland? Ie a mix of lime, oyster shells, sand and water in lieu of cement used a lot in 18&19 centuries in America?

    • I didn’t know about that. Interesting! If you like shells I heartily reccomend Curracloe (at the top of the Raven Wood) when the tide is out. Unbelievable colours.

  15. Gorgeous! So beautiful and unique!

  16. Conor, I must wonder … How’d you do that?
    Every day new pictures remarkable.
    OK, I enjoy this … πŸ˜‰

  17. WOW! Gorgeous! Made me think of a place in Mitchell SD called the Corn Palace. The entire exterior of the building is made of corn cobs. I like this better πŸ™‚

  18. so ‘fess up: is this town named after your family?

  19. Amazing!

  20. Wow!!! loving that blue! Stunning photos Conor.

  21. Fantastic! Amazing colours and great accuracy of focus – stunning, thanks!

  22. Emmm.. I would say someone did run riot and became extremely creative πŸ™‚

  23. Amazing! Thanks so much for sharing this.

  24. That is wow. tehyre like real life shell cottage in deathly hallows. awesome πŸ™‚

    • Thanks. I’m sure he would have been impressed to know his beloved house was being compared with magical ones from Harry Potter πŸ™‚

  25. Wow! The houses are so unusual and beautiful. Beautiful photos!

  26. Silentium Photography

    Thanks for sharing… love it! πŸ™‚

  27. Fantastic, in every sense of the word!

  28. That is truly remarkable work! The thought of time, patience, love, energy involved is staggering!

  29. Cullenstown… I couldn’t help but see the similarity between this town and your last name, Cullen. Coincidence? or does your family have a long history there? Great photos. I’ll tune in again soon.

  30. What a delightful set of pictures! I love seashells and cottages. Putting them together is just too wonderful! Nice shots.

    Blessings ~ Wendy

  31. wow that is so neat – what a labour of love. great find Connor!

  32. What a great set of shots! Some amazing colours going on – the angle of the fence/sky shot works really well! πŸ™‚

  33. Cool place and nice shots

  34. That’s pretty cool

  35. Love love love!! So charming! πŸ™‚

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