A clachán, or 'village' of up to fifteen houses, was typical of Aran Island settlement. In the post-Famine period many of the clacháns shrank to just two occupied houses. House sizes varied from one to three rooms, with thick stone walls which were whitewashed annually. The roof was thatched with rye straw secured by ropes and pegs. This row of cottages was deemed substantial enough to be known locally as Baile Átha Cliath (the Irish for the capital city Dublin).