A geographic coordinate system is a coordinate system that enables every location on Earth to be specified by a set of numbers, letters or symbols. The coordinates are often chosen such that one of the numbers represents a vertical position and two or three of the numbers represent a horizontal position; alternatively, a geographic position may be expressed in a combined three-dimensional Cartesian vector. A common choice of coordinates is latitude, longitude and elevation. To specify a location on a plane requires a map projection.
|Architectural style||Hiberno-Norman tower house|
|Location||County Galway, Ireland|
|Construction started||15th (or 16th) century|
|Completed||15th (or 16th) century|
|Owner||Earls of Clanrickarde, The Septs de Burgo, William Butler Yeats|
|Design and construction|
|Architect||The Septs de Burgo|
|Other designers||William Butler Yeats, William A. Scott|
Thoor Ballylee Castle (Irish Túr Bhaile Uí Laí) is a fortified, 15th (or 16th) century Hiberno-Norman tower house built by the septs de Burgo, or Burke, near the town of Gort in County Galway, Ireland. It is also known as Yeats' Tower because it was once owned and inhabited by the poet William Butler Yeats.
Irish is a Goidelic (Gaelic) language originating in Ireland and historically spoken by the Irish people. Irish is spoken as a first language in substantial areas of counties Galway, Kerry, Cork and Donegal, smaller areas of Waterford, Mayo and Meath, and a few other locations, and as a second language by a larger group of non-habitual speakers across the country.
The tower house appeared in the British Isles, starting from the High Middle Ages. Such buildings were constructed in the wilder parts of Great Britain and Ireland, particularly in Scotland, and throughout Ireland, until at least up to the 17th century. The remains of such structures are dotted around the Irish and Scottish countryside, with a particular concentration in the Scottish Borders where they include peel towers and bastle houses. Some are still intact and even inhabited today, while others stand as ruined shells.
A sept is an English word for a division of a family, especially of a Scottish or Irish family. The word may derive from the Latin saeptum, meaning "enclosure" or "fold", or via an alteration of "sect". The term is used in both Ireland and Scotland, where it may be translated as sliocht, meaning "progeny" or "seed", which may indicate the descendants of a person.
The castle was built in the 15th (or possibly 16th) century and originally formed part of the huge estates of the Earls of Clanricarde, from the de Burgo or Burke family.
Earl of Clanricarde is a title that has been created twice in the Peerage of Ireland, first in 1543 and again in 1800. The former creation became extinct in 1916 while the 1800 creation is extant and held by the Marquess of Sligo since 1916.
The House of Burke is the Irish branch of the Anglo-Norman noble family known as de Burgh.
The nearby four-arched bridge dates to around 1825.In 1837, the Carrig family was recorded as living in the castle. At the time of Griffith's Valuation (1857), Patrick Carrick was leasing a herd's house, castle and land at Ballylee, barony of Kiltartan, from William Henry Gregory. At the time, the property was valued at £5.
Griffith's Valuation was a boundary and land valuation survey of Ireland completed in 1868.
Sir William Henry Gregory PC (Ire) KCMG was an Anglo-Irish writer and politician, who is now less remembered than his wife Augusta, Lady Gregory, the playwright, co-founder and Director of Dublin's Abbey Theatre, literary hostess and folklorist.
In the early 1900s, the castle/tower was still owned by the Gregory family and became part of nearby Coole Estate, home of Lady Augusta Gregory, Yeats’ lifelong friend.On the estate, Coole House, where Lady Gregory lived, was the centre for meetings for the Irish literary group, a group composed of a great number of preeminent figures of the day. Near this tower, in Coole Park, began the Irish Literary Revival.
Coole Park is a nature reserve of approximately 1,000 acres (4 km2) located a few miles west of Gort, County Galway, Ireland. It is managed by the Irish National Parks & Wildlife Service, part of the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht. The park is in a low–lying karstic limestone area characterised by seasonal lakes, known as turloughs, which are almost unique to Ireland. It has extensive woodlands. There are 6 kilometres of signposted nature trails plus a formal late 18th century walled garden.
The Irish Literary Revival was a flowering of Irish literary talent in the late 19th and early 20th century.
Thoor Ballylee is also known today as Yeats’ Tower, because in 1916 (or 1917) Yeats purchased the property for the nominal sum of £35 because he was so enchanted with it and especially as it was located in a rural area.From 1921 to 1929, Yeats and his family lived there as it was his monument and symbol: In both aspects, it satisfied his desire for a rooted place in the countryside. The tower retained its original windows in the upper part. Yeats and his architect, Professor William A. Scott, restored the tower for the next two years and installed larger windows in the lower floors.
As he had an affinity for the Irish language, Yeats dropped the term "castle" in naming the property and replaced it with "Thoor" (Túr), the Irish word for "tower"; thus, the place has been known as Thoor Ballylee. For twelve years, Thoor Ballylee was Yeats’ summer home as it was his country retreat. In a letter to a friend, he wrote, "Everything is so beautiful that to go elsewhere is to leave beauty behind." Consequently, it is no wonder that Yeats was inspired and compelled to create literary works at Ballylee such as poems like The Tower and Coole Park and Ballylee.
In 1929, Ballylee was abandoned as the Yeats family moved out and it fell to disuse and ruin.
In 1951, a scene of John Ford's The Quiet Man in which John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara cross a river was shot next to Thoor Ballylee.
Mary Hanley (1914-1979) was the founder of the Kiltartan Society. A native of Carron, County Clare, Hanley founded the society in 1961 to foster interest in the literary history of the district, especially that of Lady Gregory, Edward Martyn and W.B. Yeats. She was responsible for the restoration of Thoor Ballylee (with the aid of Bord Fáilte and the Yeats family). At the time, the Office of Public Works was owner of the property. Hanley persuaded the poet Padraic Colum to open the castle on Sunday 20 June 1965, the centenary of Yeats’s birth, as Yeats Tower to appear as it was when he lived there and refitted as a Yeats museum containing a collection of first editions and items of furniture.The adjoining miller's cottage became a tea room and shop. This was later expanded by a newly constructed building in the back.
Due to its proximity to the Streamstown River, Thoor Ballylee is subject to sporadic flooding. This occurred notably in 1995 and in 2009/2010. In 2009, Thoor Ballylee was extensively damaged by flooding.For a while it appeared that due to the financial problems of the Irish government, no money would be available to repair it.
Thus only in February 2012 did work by Fáilte Ireland on restoring the tower begin, although no opening date was envisaged at the time.One of the forces behind the decision to repair the tower had been East Galway senator Lorraine Higgins, who argued that a reopened Yeats' Tower would be a boon to local tourism.
By February 2013 the tower had still not reopened. However, a private group — in cooperation with Fáilte Ireland — had engaged the services of Galway Rural Development, a make-work-scheme, for the maintenance work.
In 2014, a local community group the "Yeats Thoor Ballylee Society" leased Thoor Ballylee from Fáilte Ireland to develop it into a culture and education centre, in time for the Yeats 150th Anniversary in June 2015. The Society is cooperating with the National Yeats Steering Committee and the Yeats Society to ensure that Thoor Ballylee is an integrated part of the Yeats 2015 celebrations.
In early December 2015, Storm 'Desmond' devastated parts of Ireland with flooding rain and damaging winds. Thoor Ballylee, and the adjacent cottage, were both damaged by several feet of flood water.
With four floors, the tower consists of one room on each floor that is connected by a spiral stone stairway built into the seven-foot thickness of the massive outer wall. Each floor has a window that overlooks the Streamstown River that flows alongside the tower. There is a small thatch cottage attached.
Yeats described the ground-floor chamber as "the pleasantest room I have yet seen, a great wide window opening over the river and a round arched door leading to the thatched hall". He also admired the mural stair, symbolically declaring "This winding, gyring, spiring treadmill of a stair is my ancestral stair; That Goldsmith and the Dean, Berkeley and Burke have traveled there."
There is a tablet on the wall that commemorates Yeats' sojourn:
I, the poet William Yeats,
With old mill boards and sea-green slates,
And smithy work from the Gort forge,
Restored this tower for my wife George.
And may these characters remain
When all is ruin once again.
Isabella Augusta, Lady Gregory was an Irish dramatist, folklorist and theatre manager. With William Butler Yeats and Edward Martyn, she co-founded the Irish Literary Theatre and the Abbey Theatre, and wrote numerous short works for both companies. Lady Gregory produced a number of books of retellings of stories taken from Irish mythology. Born into a class that identified closely with British rule, she turned against it. Her conversion to cultural nationalism, as evidenced by her writings, was emblematic of many of the political struggles to occur in Ireland during her lifetime.
Gort is a town in south County Galway, in the west of Ireland. It lies just north of the border with County Clare on the old Galway–Limerick road, now the R458. Gort is situated in the territory of Uí Fiachrach Aidhne also known as Maigh Aidhne, which is coextensive with the diocese of Kilmacduagh / Cill Mhic Dhuach.
Ó Seachnasaigh, O'Shaughnessy, collectively Uí Sheachnasaigh, clan name Cinél nAedha na hEchtghe, is a family surname of Irish origin. The name is found primarily in County Galway and County Limerick. Their name derives from Seachnasach mac Donnchadh, a 10th-century member of the Uí Fiachrach Aidhne, which the Ó Seachnasaigh were the senior clan of. The town of Gort, Ireland, was the main residence of the family since at least the time of their ancestor, King Guaire Aidne mac Colmáin.
The Cuala Press was an Irish private press set up in 1908 by Elizabeth Yeats with support from her brother William Butler Yeats that played an important role in the Celtic Revival of the early 20th century. Originally Dun Emer Press, from 1908 until the late 1940s it functioned as Cuala Press, publicising the works of such writers as Yeats, Lady Gregory, Colum, Synge, Gogarty, etc.
The Tower is a book of poems by W. B. Yeats, published in 1928. The Tower was Yeats's first major collection as Nobel Laureate after receiving the Nobel Prize in 1923. It is considered to be one of the poet's most influential volumes and was well received by the public.
The Winding Stair is a volume of poems by Irish poet W. B. Yeats, published in 1933. It was the next new volume after 1928's The Tower.
"A Prayer for my Daughter" is a poem by William Butler Yeats written in 1919 and published in 1921 as part of Yeats' collection Michael Robartes and the Dancer. It is written to Anne, his daughter with Georgie Hyde Lees, whom Yeats married after his last marriage proposal to Maud Gonne was rejected in 1916. Yeats wrote the poem while staying in a tower at Thoor Ballylee during the Anglo-Irish War, two days after Anne's birth on February 26, 1919. The poem reflects Yeats's complicated views on Irish Nationalism, sexuality, and is considered an important work of Modernist poetry.
Kiltartan is a barony and civil parish in County Galway, Ireland. The southern portion of this barony was formerly known as Cenél Áeda na hEchtge or O'Shaughnessy's Country, the northern portion was called Coill Ua bhFiachrach and the eastern part was called Oireacht Réamoinn. It was the home of Lady Gregory, Edward Martyn, and a regular residence of W.B. Yeats. The barony takes its name from the Burke stronghold of Kiltartan Castle also known as Castletown or Ballycastle. The castle in turn takes its name from the medieval church of Kiltartan a short distance to the north. The original Irish name for the church and parish was Cill Athrachta which was corrupted to Cill Tortain. The older anglicised form was Kiltaraght which is closer to the original Irish form.
William Robert Gregory MC was an Irish cricketer, artist and flying ace in WWI.
The N66 road was a national secondary road in Ireland. It linked the M18 at Gort, County Galway to the N65 outside Loughrea. The N65 continues north and forms an interchange with the M6. The road lied entirely within County Galway.
Kilcolgan, is a village on the mouth of the Kilcolgan River at Dunkellin Bay in County Galway, Ireland. The settlement is at the junction of the N67 and R458 roads, which lies between Gort and Clarinbridge. The village is near the site of the Galway Bay drowning tragedy.
Fiddaun Castle is a tower house in Tubber, County Galway, close to the border of County Clare in Ireland. It is a National Monument of Ireland.
Blood and the Moon is a poem by Irish poet William Butler Yeats written in 1928 and published in the collection The Winding Stair in 1929 before being reprinted in The Winding Stair and Other Poems in 1933. Yeats composed the poem in response to the 1927 assassination of Kevin O'Higgins, the Vice-President of the Free State, whom Yeats had known personally. The poem contains many themes common in Yeats's poems from the 1920s including the "tower", a reference to Thoor Ballylee, which had been the title of a collection of works printed the year before "Blood and the Moon" was published, as well as the "gyre" which had been a major focus of his 1920 poem "The Second Coming".
William Alphonsus Scott (1871–1921) was a well-known Irish Roman Catholic ecclesiastical architectural historian, academic, and architect active throughout late—nineteenth-century and early twentieth-century Ireland. His offices were first located in Drogheda, later located at 45 Mountjoy Square, Dublin.
Robert Gregory was an Irish-born East India merchant and politician who sat in the British House of Commons from 1768 to 1784.
Inis Cealtra, or Holy Island, is an island off the western shore of Lough Derg in Ireland. Now uninhabited, it was once a monastic settlement. It has an Irish round tower, and the ruins of several small churches, as well as part of 4 high crosses and a holy well. The cemetery on this island is still in use, coffins and mourners being transported the short distance from County Clare in small boats. Boat trips can be taken from the harbour at Mountshannon. It is conserved by the East Clare Heritage Centre.
Kiltartan Castle is a tower house and National Monument located in County Galway, Ireland.