Sligo is synonymous with Yeats.
The landscape was once the childhood and spiritual home of William Butler Yeats and has been the inspiration for his most famous poems. Yeats is one of Ireland’s most famous writers renowned internationally and the winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature. His influence on subsequent poets has guaranteed W. B. Yeats an honoured place in the annals of literature and his work is as relevant today as it was a century ago.
Sligo, or Yeats Country, receives thousands of visitors each year, walking in the footsteps of the writer and seeing for themselves the landmarks made famous in his poetry, drama and prose.
Lisadell House: No visit to Sligo is complete without a tour of this remarkable house and gardens. As a child, Yeats was a regular visitor, mainly for cricket matches and horse racing but as a young man, he was a more regular guest of the owners, the Gore Booth family. Memorabilia, books and portraits of Yeats can still be found in this remarkably well preserved stately home.
Sligo County Museum: The Yeats Room at Sligo County Museum contains rare footage of W.B Yeats funeral cortege as well as various manuscripts, photographs, letters and newspaper cuttings associated with the great man.
Drumcliffe Grave: Drumcliffe Churchyard in North Sligo, is spectacularly set against the striking backdrop of the poet’s beloved Benbulben Mountains, is the final resting place of W.B. Yeats. The grave is marked with a simple headstone with the inscription, “cast a cold eye on life, on death, horseman, pass by.” This was Yeats’ self-penned epitaph together with the instructions that the grave consist of “no marble, no conventional phrase”.
Yeats Memorial Building Sligo: This unique building at the heart of Sligo town is home to the Yeats Society. Drop in or check out their website for news of the Annual Yeats Summer School, exhibitions and events celebrating WB. Yeats. ‘Through the creative space of the Yeats Memorial Building, the Yeats Society has sought to serve the needs of those interested in Yeats’s poetry through the Yeats Summer School, Hyde Bridge Gallery, Yeats Poetry Circle, Poets Parlour, Reference library and Lily’s and Lolly’s café’.
The Niland Gallery/ The Model : Home to paintings by the Yeats family are a particular focus of this gallery space and the collection features almost fifty works by Jack B. Yeats, brother of William, nineteen portraits by his father John Butler Yeats, as well as works by Jack’s wife Mary Cottenham Yeats, and his sister Elizabeth Yeats.
Yeats Trail: To make your visit to Yeats’s Sligo really easy, pick up a copy of the Yeats Trail at the tourist office and enjoy the simple maps, explanations and introductions to the poet’s spiritual home.
Remember too, that finding the spirit of Yeats is a more simple matter in this beautiful County. A trip to Dooney Rock on the edge of Lough Gill, or to calm leafy Hazelwood will bring the poets works to life within your soul. The magnificence of the scenery will leave you in no doubt as to where Yeats found inspiration.
http://www.yeatssociety.com/ Summer school July 24th – August 5th