Saturday 24 February 2018

Plea to save ruined Yeats house

Elsinore House, Rosses Point, Co Sligo - the summer childhood home of WB Yeats
Elsinore House, Rosses Point, Co Sligo - the summer childhood home of WB Yeats

Greg Harkin

A cousin of poet William Butler Yeats has said the family would welcome any initiative to restore a historic house where he spent his childhood summers.

Elsinore House sits covered by trees and weeds overlooking the pier at Rosses Point in Co Sligo. It hasn't been used for more than three decades.

Historians say the nation needs to use Yeats' 150th birthday today to re-establish the poet's connections to the north-west. And they want the famous house restored to its former glory as a lasting tribute to him.

The young William and his brother, the painter Jack Butler Yeats, spent their summers there with their reclusive uncle.

Local historian Brian Scanlon says the house will be lost to the nation unless urgent repairs and renovations are made.


Marking the 150th birthday, he erected a sign leading to the house calling for action.

"If this was any other country in the world, this house would have been saved and restored by now," he said.

"Imagine if this was a house where Wordsworth stayed somewhere in England? It would be restored with a visitors' centre attached. We need to do the same. Yeats is our national poet and he needs to be respected."

But last night a second cousin of Yeats said the family were keen to see it restored.

Heather Chave-Cox, nee Middleton, told the Irish Independent the house is held in trust on behalf of her and 13 other descendants of Yeats.

"It is something some of us have discussed recently," said Heather, who lives in Devon.

"For various reasons it hasn't been repaired over the years and nothing would make us happier than to see it restored."

Irish Independent

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