Clarion Hotel Sligo
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Named after W. B. Yeats, this Victorian building was a donation from the AIB Bank to the Yeats Society. Declared a heritage since then, the Yeats Memorial building is located in the center of the Hyde Bridge. It is home to the Sligo Art Galllery and the Yeats River Cafe.
This striking bronze sculpture stands as a reminder of this tragic period in Irish history. Between 1847-1856 over 30,000 people emigrated through the Port of Sligo to seek out a better life. Commissioned by The Sligo Famine Committee, it honors the victims of what was to become known as the Great Hunger. Sculpted by Niall Bruton and sponsored by The Kennedy Foundation of Manchester, the statue bears a poignant epitaph by poet W B Yeats.
Considered to be one of the largest collection of megalithic tombs in Europe, this famous site is situated about three miles west of Sligo on the road to Bundoran. There are over 60 tombs and a number of dolmens, stone circles and passage graves. It is an impressive site dating back some 6000 years and visitors have the opportunity to watch a multimedia presentation in a small exhibition center. Although there are disability facilities, the tombs are spread over a rather large area and are at times a little inconvenient to reach.
Standing on the site of the 16th century Market Cross, the Lady Erin Monument adds a note of majesty to the centre of Sligo Town. The sculpture is 16ft high, carved in Sicilian marble and depicts a woman standing on broken chains while holding a half-mast flag. The statue commemorates the rebels of 1798 and was unveiled on 3 September 1899. The mayor of Sligo performed the honours while a capacity crowd looked on. It is interesting to note that Ireland's break from the United Kingdom was still many years away. Contact Sligo Tourist Office for further information.
Sligo Town's oldest building that has been in continuous use, it is likely that the site originally had a hospital or almshouse in 1242, but all traces of it have disappeared. In 1427 a rectory was built and the building was used at various times during the 17th century as a church and mortuary chapel. In 1730 Richard Cassels, architect for Hazelwood House, designed a new church. Many of his features were lost to modifications in 1812 and 1883 when Romanesque decorations replaced Cassels' Gothic designs. Some of Sligo's most notable and historic families have associations with this church, including W. B. Yeats' mother, Susan Mary. A brass tablet dedicated to her can be found inside.
Although plans and fund raising for a Sligo cathedral began in 1845, the project was abandoned during the Famine. In 1867 building commenced and the church was consecrated in 1874. The impressive cathedral is more restrained than many Victorian buildings, with a pretty interior. In the early morning and evening, light streams through the 69 stunning stained glass windows for an awe inspiring sight.
The main source of information for tourists travelling to the Northwest.
Saint Columba's churchyard in Drumcliffe is renowned worldwide as the final resting place of one of Ireland's greatest poets. W B Yeats died in France during the Second World War but it was not until 1948 that his body was interred at Drumcliffe; as you approach the Church, Yeats' grave is to the left. Every year thousands of tourists flock to this little churchyard to stand in silent reverence. You cannot visit Sligo without paying homage to this enigmatic man.
Originally an important Celtic assembly site for Lughnasa festivities at harvest time, this well retained its importance with the coming of Christianity. A variety of cures have been attributed to its waters for centuries and even for the non-religious, this flower-filled shrine and waterfall is very evocative. During Penal times, mass was said at the adjacent mass rock, while a lookout was perched on the cliff above. If British soldiers approached, the congregation would disperse and pretend to be watching a football match. Contact the local tourist office for further information.
The present day church stands on the site of an ancient ecclesiastical settlement established by Saint Columba in 574. In its heyday it would have ranked with his other great monasteries at Derry, Durrow, and Kells, and a few tangible remains of the Columban legacy still exist. W.B. Yeats' great grandfather was rector here in the early years of the last century. Standing nearby the church, we have one of the finest Celtic crosses - over a thousand years old - to be found anywhere in Ireland. Further information is available in the local visitors centre.
Drumcliffe village is located 8 kilometer north of the Sligo town and is surrounded by the Ben Bulben ranges and the sea on either sides. The village was once a town and was previously known as Nagnata. Today, one of the major attractions of the village is the final resting place of the village's celebrated resident W. B. Yeats inside the Drumcliffe Churchyard. The round tower which is believed to be built around the 11th Century and the 9th-century Celtic High Cross in Drumcliffe Cemetery are among the oldest surviving structures in this village.
Shrouded in mystery and legend for centuries, Knocknarea is one of Sligo's most distinctive landmarks. A large stone cairn caps the mountain and is visible from miles away. This is the reputed final resting-place of warrior Queen Maeve. According to legend, she was buried standing up to face her enemies for eternity. The grave consists of approximately 40,000 stones, is 200ft at the base, and 100ft at the top. Archaeologists believe it is more likely the work of Stone Age farmers, dating from 3000BC. It has never been excavated, so the mystery remains. The climb up the 1078ft mountain takes about 45 minutes and rewards hikers with stunning views of the Bay and surrounding hills. Contact the local tourist office for further information.