Thoor Ballylee Castle, Co. Galway
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Thoor Ballylee Castle is a four storey tower dating back to the 16th century, beautifully situated beside a stream. For a number of years the tower became Yeats' monument and symbol and featured in the title and cover illustration of his 1928 book 'The Tower', inspired by Ballylee. In naming the property Yeats dropped the term "castle" and replaced it with "Thoor" - the Irish word for tower, and the place became known as Thoor Ballylee. Yeats and his wife and their children enjoyed this country retreat, and used it as their summer home for 12 years. He is quoted in a letter to friend regarding Thoor Ballylee "everything is so beautiful that to go elsewhere is to leave beauty behind."

In 1923 William Butler Yeats was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. He died at the Hotel Ideal Sejour, in Menton, France, on 28 January 1939. He was buried after a discreet and private funeral at Roquebrune-Cap-Martin. Yeats and George had often discussed his death, and his express wish was to be buried quickly in France with a minimum of fuss. According to George, "His actual words were 'If I die bury me up there [at Roquebrune] and then in a year's time when the newspapers have forgotten me, dig me up and plant me in Sligo'." In September 1948, Yeats' body was moved to Drumcliffe, County Sligo, on the Irish Naval Service corvette LÉ Macha.

More about Irish Castles you will find HERE.


daily May to September: 10:00-18:00

+353 (0)91 537700


Adult €6
Student / senior citizen / tour - pps €5.50
Family €12
Child over 12 years €2.50
Child under 12 years €1.50


Picnic area, Tourist office, Toilet facilities including disabled, Large bus and car park

Attractions nearby

Aillwee Cave within 24.7 km
Ardamullivan Castle within 11.6 km
Athenry Castle within 22 km
Athenry Dominican Friary / Priory of St. Peter and St. Paul within 21.6 km
Ballindooley / Ballindooly Castle within 28.4 km
Ballyportry Castle within 24.1 km
Caherconnell Stone Fort within 25.4 km
Caislean Sean Muckinish Ruins within 22.2 km
Claregalway Friary, Franciscan within 29.3 km
Cloghan Castle within 7.9 km
Cloondooan Castle Ruins, Boston within 13 km
Corcomroe Abbey Ruins, Cistercian within 18.8 km
Drumharsna Castle Ruins within 6.4 km
Dunguaire Castle within 11 km
Dysert O'Dea Castle, Abbey, Round Tower, High Cross and Archeology Center within 28.9 km
Fiddaun Castle Ruins within 12.5 km
Galway Cathedral, Roman Catholic within 26.8 km
Gleninagh Castle Ruins within 29 km
Inchicronan Augustinian Friary / Abbey, Inchicronan Lough within 22.4 km
Isserkelly Castle Ruins within 7.3 km
Kilcolgan Castle within 13.7 km
Kilmacduagh Monastic Site and Round Tower within 9.8 km
Kilnalahan / Kilnalehin Carthusian / Knight Hospitallers / Franciscan Friary, Abbey within 25.6 km
Lavallyconnor Castle Ruins within 10.3 km
Leamanagh / Leamaneh / Lemaneagh Castle Ruins within 27.6 km
Lough Cutra / Loughcooter Castle within 9 km
Loughrea Carmelite Abbey of St. Mary within 17.3 km
Lydacan / Lydican Castle Ruins within 4.7 km
Menlo / Menlough / Mionloch Castle Ruins within 29.3 km
Moyode Castle within 17.8 km
Newtown Castle within 26.3 km
Oranmore Castle within 21.2 km
Pallas Castle Ruins within 27.7 km
Poulnabrone Portal Tomb within 25.2 km
Tullira / Tulira Castle within 3.7 km
Tyrone House Ruins within 14.6 km
Walking Tours of Galway, Galway Walks, within 26.4 km

Beautifully situated beside a stream
Beautiful day...
The short poem carved on the walls of the castle