Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Ireland -The Light of Evening, Lissadell

Lissadell House - Music Room





(words of WB Yeats, written at Lissadell House, Sligo Ireland  where he spent much time as a guest - a tribute to Constantine and Eva Gore Booth)It is believed that WB Yeats held a torch for Constance a.k.a "The Gazelle".

Lissadell House, built by architect Francis Goodwin and completed in 1833.  The House was build to take advantage of the views from within.  Each room affords spectacular views, of the ocean, Ben Bulben Mountain, Sligo Bay and the pastorial lands from the Drawing Room.

Ante Room window engraving by Constance Gore Booth and her sister Mabel in 1898 (graffiti even then!, engraved with their diamond rings)
  For you who have enjoyed Downton Abbey, you will find the Basement area of particular interest.  The Servants Hall, Butler's Pantry, Kitchen and pantries, the bakery, Wine Cellars, China Room, Butler's bedroom, Housekeeper's room and the maids' sleeping quarters.  Lissadell had more than 200 employees at one time. 

The Music Room has remarkable acoustics. Oval in shape, lit by  a clerestory and skylights and is 65 ft in length.  

Original paintings by Jack B Years (brother of WB Yeats), Sir John Lavery, AE, Walter Osborne and more adorn the walls.
Helen in Music Room at Lissadell House 2011

Lissadell House

The Garden at Lissadell is worth visiting and deserves an entire post.

Lissadell House

Both Mabel and Constance Gore Booth were artistic. Mabel pursued gardening and design.  Constance was sent to the Slade School in England, then onward to France where she studied art.  While there, fell in love with Count Casimir Markievicz, married and returned to Lissadell House, a child namely Maeve Alleys was born. Constance continued to paint and exhibit.  The Count Casimir tired of life at Lissadell and Dublin and returned to the Ukraine.
A life of painting and leisure was not enough for Constance.  In her journal as a young girl she wrote
"Nature should provide me with something to live for, something to die for"  She turned to politics. In 1908 Constance publicly spoke in favour of the nationalist cause from a Sinn Fein platform.  Constance was sentenced to death for her part in the  Dublin 1916 rising - the sentence got reduced to commuted life imprisonment (in England) She was released in a general amnesty in 1917 and the following year was elected a Sinn Fein member of the English House of Commons, the first woman ever elected to Westminister. Constance decined to take the seat and was appointed Minister for Labour in the Dail (Irish Parliment). Politics was her life and she died in 1927 - her coffin was carried by the President of Ireland, Eamon de Valera.  300,000 people attended her funeral.  (She was known as "Madame" to the poor of Dublin).
Constance with James Connelly 1916 Dublin


What outstanding brave women or gazelles  do you admire?


  1. A very interesting post!
    Have a wonderful evening,

  2. Hello Helen:
    How we should love this house. The position is truly wonderful with its remarkable views of the ocean and set in the most glorious countryside.

    And, once again, the poetry of Yeats, so perfectly captures the mood of the moment and his 'gazelle'.

    As we say so often, we are beguiled by Irish writers and this post transports us directly into the world of Molly Keane, her flawed heroes and her crumbling houses. When we toyed, many moons ago, with the idea of living on the West Coast of Ireland we decided that we should buy a three storey house in order that as the rain [always the rain] penetrated to each floor rendering it uninhabitable[ as we should not, of course, be able to finance roof repairs] we should move down to a lower floor in the assurance that we should at least be able to survive in the basement in our dotage!!!!

  3. What an incredible place! I love the surrounding land and the views.

    There are so many women to admire but one that jumps to my mind is Joan of Arc because I went to Jeanne d'Arc high school. I love women of courage and character.

    Thank you for this lovely post. xx

  4. Dear Helen,

    I have been to Ireland several times, but missed this house completely. Such a shame because it looks like a beautiful and interesting building.

    What brave women I admire? I think it must have been the women who managed to get us the right to vote or who worked in field hospitals during both WWs!

    Madelief x

  5. Oh for Great Windows and a China Room, though I'd settle for an elegant clerestory. Lissadell is a treasure, and the photo of yourself in the Music Room is wonderful, Helen; you have the stance of a Yeats heroine.

    You make me want to dash over the mountains to Sligo, stopping along the way to pop in for tea with the Hattatts in their imaginary damp three storey house.

  6. Helen, what a fascinating post! I love the pic of you in the Music Room! Women I admire (to name a but a few)? -- Eleanor Roosevelt, Beatrix Potter, Susan B Anthony and, of course, Elizabeth Cady Stanton ;)

  7. Dear Helen, this is the most magnificent house in such an idyllic setting. I do like to watch Downtown Abbey, so would really enjoy exploring all the rooms in the basement that you mention. I imagine the gardens would be beautiful to see too.

    I admire the brave women, who despite having disabilities, climb onto a horse each week at RDA and are determined to learn to ride. They are such an inspiration to me.

    Thank you for writing such an interesting post and sharing more wonderful pictures of your trip to Ireland.
    I hope you are having an enjoyable week.
    Hugs from Abby and Spotty xx

  8. Hi Helen, what a lovely house in the most gorgeous setting. I missed this when I was in Sligo. Nevermind, a good excuse to go again! I did enjoy your picture with your rather jaunty pose!

    I admire Doris Day, she must be in her 80's and has released a new album. There are loads of women I admire but it's late and my brain has gone to mush, so sorry, can't think of any. Oh I do agree with a previous reader about Beatrix Potter, she did such marvellous work to preserve the Lake District as well as write and illustrate all those charming books. Thankyou for such an informative and interesting post. Have a wonderful weekend, love Linda x

  9. Oh my goodness, what an amazing could have it's own show! I'd love to see more of it and to see more about the life of it's inhabitants. Just the graffiti!
    xo J~

  10. Very interesting...with wonderful photos! I just watched a program on Marion Anderson, the famous contralto! She was an amazing woman! Here's a link to some of the info on the internet...
    Hugs, Diane ♥

  11. Hello Yvonne-Frl.Klein
    Thank you for visiting and for your kind wish. Wishing you a joyful evening.
    Helen xx

  12. Jane & Lance Hattatt
    Well Good Evening kind friends.

    Yes, I feel you would love this house and also the garden. It is said that WB Yeats wanted a word to rhyme with Lissadell and chose "gazelle". I have a stack of Molly Keane books and must revisit them.
    You are hilarious in wanting a 3 storey house for the simple reason of avoiding rain. Trust you to think of this solution, Hee Hee.
    We, Irish, are very good at fund raising, so we would definitely have a bake sale and a movie night (chaired by Mise) to patch up your roof and we will have none of this "dotage" talk.
    Fond wishes

  13. Hello Mrs Little Jeans & Smart Pants and Puffy Pants

    Thank you for stopping by Lissadell is in a spectacular setting. Lissadell was built to take advantage of the views from each room unlike most country houses of that era which were placed at the end of a long tree lined entrance and the focus of the house was the front door.
    Let's toast to Jeanne D'Arc.


  14. Hello Madelief

    Lissadell House is one of the best kept secrets and very difficult to find. There were no signposts. Presently there is a legal issue with
    "right of way" on the road and if you go ignore the signs saying "no entry/private road", just keep driving till you get to the house.

    I agree with you in that the women who campaigned for our right to vote were heroes together with the field hospital staff. Thanks for remembering them
    Helen xx

  15. Dearest Mise

    Flattery will get you everywhere with me. I thank you for observing my Yeats' heroine stance. I hope you life is brightened by a clerestory one day soon.
    I can just see you on your white horse, with Pink and Blue Daughters up, as you ride past the Twelve Bens, briefly stopping at Hattatt House on the outskirts of Cliften, then onward to Lissadell, where WB will immortalize you in a peom to be later put to music by Bono.
    Helen xx

  16. Elizabeth Rose Stanton - Hello and thank you for your kind words and support.
    I like your choice of strong women. Elizabeth Cady Stanton is she related to you? What an amazing woman and so accomplished. I am going back to read more on her. She would make a very, very interesting post
    Susan B Anthony did so much for women!
    Beatrix Potter - agree also and of course Eleanor Roosevelt also outstandig.
    Thank you for this

  17. My Spotty Pony - Dear Abby

    I know you would love visiting Lissadell House and Gardens - it is about 20 miles north of Sligo town and get directions before heading out.
    I so agree with you on who your heroes are and those brave women who overcome their disabilities by riding are to be honoured. Brave.!
    My late father in law Col Fred Tilston lost both legs below the knee in the 2nd world war - he also lost an eye - yet each year when we went to Arizona to the Flying E Ranch he would ride with us- again an amazing act of bravery. He one time commented that all one needs is a proper fitting prosthesis and then pointed to his head and said, one walks up here.
    Have a super week and pats to Spotty
    from Spice Girl

  18. Flowers on my Table, hello Linda

    Lissadell House is a well kept secret and no wonder you missed it from the lack of sign posts. It is definitely worth a visit Linda.

    Yes Beatrix Potter is to be admired and like you said there are many great heroes and perhaps it is doing small acts of kindness daily that matters. I think Mother Teresa said that, on that note, she was another great one.
    Good Night and sweet dreams
    Helen xx

  19. Hello 24 Corners

    Yes, you would love Lissadell House and funnily enough we were just saying that it would be a spectacular setting for a documentary. There is certainly enough stories already attached to the house and many were entertained here. Just recently, Leonard Cohen performed there.
    Wishing you a great week
    Helen xx

  20. Hello Lavender Dreamer - Dear Diane

    Thank you for visiting and thank you so much for telling me about Marion Anderson - I love her voice and have been listening to her on your tube - Plasir D'Amour, Ave Maria and so many beautiful songs. I had not heard of her and thank you again. Where did you see her?

    Helen xx

  21. This looks simply magnificent Helen!
    I love the engraving image.
    To me, it is just beautiful.
    Sending you wishes for a wonderful day!

  22. Helen, what a truly inspiring post - i have met so many brave women in my life - everyday brave women, sometimes because we have no better choice but to be brave, sometimes that see injustice and firmly make that choice. I have so much admiration for them. It was wonderful to learn of another xx

  23. What a fascinating story about a remarkable woman, and what a fabulous house! The views of the ocean and the grounds are incredibly beautiful. That's a wonderful photo of you standing in the Music Room. Thank you for sharing!

  24. Hi Helen
    Well you are making me wish I'd popped over to Ireland on my little adventure OS... I can imagine the views would be incredible...

    I'm yet to see Downtown Abbey and now have added interest to do so.. but meanwhile thanks for taking me along with you!!

    Have a lovely day.. ciao xxx Julie

  25. Such an interesting post, Helen. I have been thinking of inspiring women and I have always loved the paintings of Gwen John and Winifred Nicholson and the writer and poet Kathleen Raine, who I was lucky enough to know. I'm sure there are many more! Jane x

  26. Hi Lisa

    Yes the engraving on the window added a personal touch and great they have not replaced the glass. The dining room had some wonderful paintings too and I am itching to get back to my easel - thank you for the visit

  27. Hello Fashion and Frank

    You are so right it is the brave folks who every day stumble out of bed and put their best foot and best attitude to work and constantly doing "the right thing" (Frank knows all abou this)
    Helen xx

  28. Louise at Cosmetic Bee

    Thank you for visiting and your kind comments. The fashion police have been kind to me and perhaps I should have worn my vintage 40's suit. We had hiked Knocknarea that morning and visited the tomb of Queen Maeve (3,000 BC) (an enormous cairn where visitors bring and donate a stone - legend has it that one must never remove a stone from here)
    Hope your have a beautiful weekend
    Helen xx

  29. Hello Julie @ Being Ruby

    You are so right, Ireland awaits your smiling face and lense.
    I believe you did right in concentrating on France and Italy. I feel one must not rush through, particular artists, as the hidden by ways are where many of the treasures lie.
    Save your pennies and make Ireland your next stop

    My best

  30. Jane The Booklady

    Thank you for your interesting comment and I love that you have given me some research. I am trying to find Kathleen Raine's poety, I will request her book from my library.
    What I read makes her most interesting and special.
    I will also be researching Gwen and Winifred. Many thanks
    Helen xx

  31. Total beauty in emerald green and grays that only connote joy to me...Helen dear, what a joy to see your comment pop up before my eyes are I sit here on this fine and quiet weekend day. Your words are such pure encouragement to me for my background in theatre only enriches my love for story telling; you have put a "bug in my ear" now about short films.....hmmmmmm, how can I do this....because I would SO LOVE to make a poetic short film.

    BLESS YOU and dream, dream and fly! Anita

  32. I wonder how it is known the names were carved with diamond rings-- a scintillating detail.

  33. A fascinating post Helen, I do hope you will be following up with a garden post for Lissadell.

  34. The Lissadell House is beautiful. Looking forward to read about the garden, too.

    An interesting post!

    Have a lovely Sunday, Helen.


  35. Love your blog, Helen...thanks for stopping by Willow Manor...

  36. Castle Crowns and Cottages
    Dearest Anita

    Welcome to the castle! I can see you create a beautiful short movie in the rooms at Lissadell, your soft turquoise and diamons would absolute glitter in the glow of the crystal chandeliers.
    Wishing you a weel full of ideas and creativity
    Helen xx

  37. Hello Suze

    What a wonderful question, I needed you along on the trip to prompt that question of the diamond ring...I can imagine many answers and shall continue to ponder. The plot thickens!
    Helen xx

  38. Lindy Lou Mac in Italy - Bon Girono and thank you for the suggestion of a post on the garden. I shall put that on my future list of blogs.
    Have a wonderful week

  39. Hello Jessie

    Thank you for your kindness and for popping by.

    I will put the garden at Lissadell on my list.

    Wishing you a joyful week
    Helen xx

  40. Tess Kincaid

    Thank you for your kind words on Lissadell and you are most welcome to my blog. Thank you for being my most recent follower.

    Helen xx

  41. Hello Helen
    What an incredible and brave man Col Fred Tilston was. And I so agree with his saying 'one walks up here' ... yes, our minds do prevent us from experiencing life to the full.

    Thank you for your comments on the baby squirrels. The reds tend not to take birds eggs like the greys do, as they are much smaller in size. Numbers of reds in Great Britain and Ireland have decreased dramatically in recent years since the introduction of the greys from North America.

    Spotty is well, but due to weight gain, is being kept inside and on a strict diet. Poor Spotty, he loves his grass too much!
    I hope you have had a lovely weekend.
    Sending fondest wishes to you. Abby xx

  42. A big hug to you my friend.:-) Stina

  43. Hello - what an interesting post. It is always important to find more people to admire. The opposite is too easy. Thank you for leaving a comment on Le style et la matière. I hope to resume more regular posting soon. Happy painting!

  44. I am such a fan of Downton Abbey....I can hardly wait for the new episodes......Lovely post on a such a beautiful stately Helen.....xv

  45. What a remarkable post! The setting the house is in is just wonderful!
    Thanks for joining my blog and your lovely comment! I'll enrol as you reader as well! Have a happy day!

  46. Oh my dear Helen,what a beautiful post - the poems, the imagery, the words and the experience...Ireland is so magical to me ever since I've read novels by Elizabeth Bowen.

  47. Hello lovely Helen, many thanks for your encouraging words as ever. I am so glad you approve of my living room scheme. I was very touched when I read on one of your comments, about the bravery of your father-in-law. I hope that you had a lovely weekend, and that all is well with you, love Linda x

  48. Oh Helen this was such an interesting post! I had never actually heard of it!

    (and regarding Downton Abbey, I actually hadn't heard of it until this weekend... needless to say I overdosed on it hehe)

  49. Thank you for leaving a message on my blog, it made me happy!
    What an exciting blog you have ... very nice pictures!

    Have a wonderful day!

    .... thought about adding me as a follower, I found it, but it didn´t work…
    I will be back! :)

    Hugs Maria

  50. What an exciting place to visit , Love your selection of inspiring women . I think I'll now have to watch Downton Abbey :) xx Ava

  51. great post! my dream is to travel the world and visit houses like that!

  52. My Spotty Pony
    Dear Abbey - Yes Fred Tilston was a very special person who abhored self pity and had little time for those who wallowed in such a futile disposition.
    Poor Spotty need to attend weight watchers, some animals have a tendency to gain weight - Spice Girl does too.
    Have a wonderful weekend Abbey

  53. Lilla Kullan

    Stina - thank you for stopping by and hugs are returned to you.
    Helen xx

  54. Hello Gesbi

    Yes you are so right in what you say about it easy to find fault with others and we must encourage goodness and kindness.
    Thank you for visiting and I am enjoying your blog. I am painting today.
    Helen xx

  55. Hello Vicki Archer
    Thank you for visiting and your kind words. We loved Season 1 of Downton Abbey - the new season commences in January in North America.

    Have a wonderful weekend
    Helen x

  56. Emilie's Daughter
    Welcome to my blog and I thank you for following me.

    I am happy you enjoyed reading about Lissadell House- it was a wonderful experience visiting and finding out about it's inhabitants.
    Wishing you a joyful weekend

  57. My dearest ASD

    Thank you for stopping by and I know you would have loved being along when we visited Lissadell. Elizabeth Bowen is a favourtire writer of mine too. Thank you for your kind words
    Wishing you a joyful weekend
    As always,Helen xx

  58. Flowers on my Table

    Dear Linda, thank you for your visit and your kind words are always appreciated.
    You have impeccable taste and your decor is always pleasing.
    Wishing you a joyful weekend
    Helen xx

  59. The PvdH Journal

    Thanks for your kind words.

    I share in your love for Downton Abbey and can hardly contain myself till it airs in January here in N. America.

    Helen xx

  60. Hello Maria

    Thank you for visiting and I am enjoying your blog.

    Thank you for your kind words of approval, they mean much to me.

    I am glad to find you.
    Helen xx

  61. Hello Ava
    Thank you for visiting my blog and it is always delightful to read of people who make a difference in this world.

    I know you will love Downton Abby - it is very well acted.


  62. Hello Irina
    Thaks for visiting and I hope your dream comes true and that you get to visit beautiful homes.
    Have a great weekend
    Helen xx