Welcome to Thoor Ballylee, the Hiberno-Norman tower described by Seamus Heaney as the most important building in Ireland.
Watch our video of Thoor Ballylee opening for the first time in many years for Yeats’s one hundred and fiftieth birthday on 13th June 2015. If the embedded video does not work you can view here it 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 2009/10the 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 opening 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 1918. 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. To find out how you can help follow this link.
Robert Gregory, c.1915