Ballylee Castle is a 16th century fortified Hiberno-Norman tower house built by the De Burgo (Burke) family. The castle is also known as ‘Yeats Tower’ due to the fact that the castle was restored by William Butler Yeats in 1919, as a retreat for himself and his family.
As Yeats had an affinity for the Irish language, he dropped the term “castle” in naming the property in favour for the Irish word ‘Thoor’ (meaning ‘tower’). He and his family occupied the castle for near 10 years, at which point after 1929, the castle fell into disrepair again until later restored and reopened in 1965 as a Yeats memorial and heritage centre.
Today, due to its proximity to the Streamstown River, Thoor Ballylee has been subject to sporadic flooding throughout the years causing considerable damage.