As part of the nationwide Heritage week celebrations, Thoor Ballylee is open all week from 10-6, with a specially reduced admission price of 5 Euro on Sundays. Now on view in our new audio-visual space is newly-restored film about the tower and its connection with resident poet W.B.Yeats.
As well as viewing from outside the stern Hiberno-Norman defensive tower with its bridge, stream, and pleasant gardens, this summer for the first time in years visitors can come in and view at firsthand the tower and cottage interior.
Inspect the study and diningroom, imagine the poet’s wife George fishing from the window, cross the threshold of the old bedroom, climb the winding stair, meet our resident bats in the rafters, and pace on the battlements as did Yeats himself, enjoying wonderful 360º views of the surrounding countryside. Then return downstairs to browse our exhibition of local artists, buy keepsakes at our gift shop, talk further with our friendly volunteer guides, or just sit with a complementary cup of tea.
On show for the first time in our new audio-visual space under slates in the old cottage is a newly-restored film about W.B.Yeats and the tower from RTÉ, written and narrated by the inimitable Yeats scholar, the late Augustine Martin.
Altogether an unmissable experience for Heritage Week. To find out more, contact us, or come and join us as a friend and help us keep this indispensable piece of heritage open for future generations.
Welcome to Thoor Ballylee, the Hiberno-Norman tower described by Seamus Heaney as the most important building in Ireland.
Thanks to our volunteers and donors and sponsors and friends, Thoor Ballylee is still open daily all this summer until September.
Watch our video of Thoor Ballylee opening for Yeats’s one hundred and fiftieth birthday on 13th June 2015.
(Or view here on youtube).
Thoor Ballylee is a fine and well-preserved fourteenth-century tower but its major significance is due to its close association with his fellow Nobel laureate for Literature, the poet W.B.Yeats. It was here the poet spent summers with his family and was inspired to write some of his finest poetry, making the tower his permanent symbol. Due to serious flood damage in the winter of 2009/10 the tower was closed for some years. A local group the Yeats Thoor Ballylee Society has come together and are actively seeking funds to ensure its permanent restoration and reopening as a cultural centre. Because of an ongoing fundraising effort and extensive repair and restoration work, the tower and associated cottages can be viewed year round, and thanks to our volunteers are open for the summer months.
Below is Robert Gregory’s vision of the tower and environs, sketched before his death fighting in Italy in the Great War. Once the tower is fully restored it is hoped that once again it will become a cultural and educational centre for reverie and reflection for visitors from around the world. Come and see for yourself, or to find out how you can help click here.
Robert Gregory, c.1917
Today at 4pm, Sunday 9th August 2015, the Yeats Thoor Ballylee Society hosts a benefit concert for the permanent restoration of Thoor Ballylee. Featuring music, poetry and the spoken word, all inspired and drawn from the works of W.B. Yeats, the concert takes place in Yeats’s iconic tower. Listen as Joseph Sobol, master guitarist and performer on a rare 10-string Sobell cittern, alongside vocals by Kathy Cowan, performs a ‘mystic cabaret’ described by the Chicago Sun-Times as ‘rapturous’ and ‘irresistible’. Come along to see the tower resound with musical echoes, and support Yeats Thoor Ballylee Society in its ongoing efforts to restore and reopen the tower permanently.
Here follows a link to Joseph Sobol performing Bach!