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The Penny Hang: a viable accommodation option nowadays?

Discussion in 'Lifestyle' started by nlgbbbblth, Jun 11, 2008.

  1. nlgbbbblth

    nlgbbbblth Well-Known Member Contributor

    While frantically trying to book an affordable hotel recently, my thoughts swung to that old Victorian place of refuge - The Penny Hang.

    definition nicked from The Penny Hangers

    A penny hang was an establishment common in port cities, and located in a cellar or basement. It featured hooks in the walls, with ropes strung in parallel from one side to another at about shoulder height. In the late evening, drunk and exhausted "clients", who had spent all their money, or were too boisterous to be allowed anywhere else, would enter the penny hang, after paying a penny, and then drape themselves over a rope, and attempt to sleep as best they could. As a crowning flourish to the glories of this place, the proprietor could come down in the morning and untie one end of the ropes, so that the clientele who had not managed to wake up and stagger out already would collapse together in a heap on the floor.

    Basic.
    Low maintenance.
    "Equal status for all occupants".

    Might be time for a revival?

  2. jane

    jane Well-Known Member

    I read a 19th century account (maybe a bit earlier, so not strictly a 'Penny Hang', I guess) of a place sort of like this in Dublin. Some writer who'd fallen on hard times went to stay in one in the Liberties. When he got into the basement, he discovered it was full of beggars who were whooping it up, having removed their fake scrofulae, humps, false limbs, wonky eyes, warts, carbuncles, etc.

    I don't know what a scrofula is, really, I just like that I had a reason to post this so I could use the word.

    Guess it wasn't quite the same thing, since I don't think they slept from ropes or whatnots.

    I also don't know what fucking upper decking is, so someone better go over to that thread and tell me.

    KTHX.

    Have you tried couchsurfing? Or house-swapping?

    Edit: I know what upper decking is now, thanks to Gambra.
  3. Wobbler

    Wobbler New Member

    Irishman's diary?
  4. jane

    jane Well-Known Member

    No, in a book I picked up. But I wouldn't be surprised if it was covered in the Irishman's Diary as well.

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