Interest in vernacular furniture has grown tremendously during the past decade. This book is comprehensively illustrated with photographs, line drawings and paintings, the vast majority of which have never before been published. It not only explains the origins, distribution and survival of many ancient designs, but also provides a broader picture of cultural links through their transmission abroad, relating Irish furniture to designs in Europe, the United States and Australia. Kinmonth explains how traditional housing, shortage of timber and a surprising variety of woodworkers combined to influence the design of furniture in Ireland, showing in separate typological chapters how chairs, dressers, tables, beds and settles evolved and varied regionally according to local needs. As a result, this book also serves as a cultural history of Ireland: it will broaden people's understanding of how the Irish lived in their cottages and farms, and demonstrates the ingenuity of Irish rural craftspeople in the face of great poverty through the ages.