Lissadell House

The light of evening, Lissadell

We visited Lissadell House in May and did the guided tour.  Lissadell House is a big country house, located in North Sligo.  It originally belonged to the Gore-Booth family, who were Anglo Irish landlords.  They sold it to the Cassidy-Walsh family in 2004, who have since renovated it and use it as their own family home and have also managed to turn it into an interesting visitor attraction, which is open to the public from March until October each year.  This is the family home of Countess Constance Markievicz and her sister Eva Gore-Booth and the poet W.B. Yeats was a frequent visitor and he later wrote the poem, In Memory of Eva Gore-Booth and Con Markiewicz, which refers to Lissadell House.

Lissadell House windows
Sash windows at Lissadell House

In 6th class, I had completed a history project and chose Countess Markievicz as the subject, later that same year, I visited Lissadell when I made my confirmation back in May 1992! but it wasn’t opened to the public at the time. We started off the tour in the Billiards room, there were lots of interesting old photos on the wall and memorabilia laid out on the table, which had belonged to Henry Gore-Booth, who was an Arctic explorer and the father of Constance and Eva Gore-Booth.

Lissadell House
Lissadell House

We also saw the oval-shaped Gallery room, which was designed as a Music Room.  The kitchen, one of my favourite rooms to visit in big houses, is located downstairs and reminded me of Downton Abbey.

Lissadell House was designed by the architect Francis Goodwin and built in the 1830’s to a neo-classic Greek revivalist style, I think the tour guide mentioned how the architecture of the house is similar to that of an ancient Greek temple.

Lissadell Court yard
Lissadell Courtyard which houses the Exhibition centre and Tearooms.

There is a large exhibition centre located in the courtyard buildings, with galleries on Countess Markievicz, William and Jack Yeats.

If you are visiting Sligo, it is well worth a visit and they also have a 1916 Easter Rising themed exhibition.

You can check out their website here for visitor opening times and find out about special events which take place at Lissadell House.


2 thoughts on “The light of evening, Lissadell

  1. A tour I must do, go raibh maith agat. It’s on my list.

    Ironically, the name of the company which the Department of Heritage (as it was), Arts and Gaeltacht contracted to work on four houses of the Moore Street 1916 Terrace was Lisadell. In January conservation activists occupied the site and prevented Lisadell demolishing a number of houses and subsequently enforced a blockade for over six weeks to prevent them gaining access (unless they published their work plan and permitted independent monitoring of work), which they refused to do.


    1. Thanks rebelbreeze, great work by the Moore street activists, I signed the petition a few months ago. I did an 1916 walking tour a few years ago and realised how important Moore Street is in our history.


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