Lissadell House and Gardens, Sligo, Ireland

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Gallery at Lissadell by Pamela Cassidy





Lissadell house by Pamela Cassidy

"That old grey mansion": W. B. Yeats

The Lissadell Estate is the home of Edward Walsh, his wife Constance Cassidy and their seven children. Writing about Lissadell for the Sunday Times forty years ago the BBC's Anne Robinson ('The Weakest Link') observed that "the garden is overgrown, the greenhouses are shattered and empty, the stables beyond repair, the roof of the main block leaks badly and the paintings show patches of mildew". After 70 years of neglect an intensive programme of restoration - without any public funding - has taken place in the House, Gardens, Stable Block and grounds since 2004 and Lissadell is once again a place of beauty. Click here for the text of Anne Robinson's article. No grants of any kind were made in respect of any part of the restoration, either for the house, the gardens or any part of the grounds. Every penny spent was earned by us.

OUR VISION was to transform the estate into a flagship for tourism in Sligo and the North West, whilst providing a secure environment for our children and for our visitors. We did not wish to exploit Lissadell commercially but to restore the house and gardens to their former glory, make Lissadell self-sustaining and protect this crucible of Ireland's historic and literary heritage.

This was our vision for Lissadell. Our vision is now at an end.

Edward Walsh, Constance Cassidy and family

Lissadell Sligo Ireland Nov 08 Autumn leaves PC
East front of Lissadell by Pamela Cassidy Summers lease at Lissadell by PC

"It’s a wonderful placeif you have to choose just one visitor attraction in Ireland to visit, make it Lissadell. And allow plenty of time": Georgina Campbell's Ireland 2009 Guide.


Butterflies and bees

Woodland brown by Ed Ladybird on lavender by Ed Bee on flower by Ed

Speckled wood butterfly, ladybird & bumble bee photographed by Edward (age 10)

lovely Red Admiral Red Admiral by PC Red Admiral by PC

A lovely visitor, the Red Admiral

Red Admiral visitory by Pamela Cassidy Peacock by Pamela Cassidy
Red Admiral loves apples by Pamela Cassidy White by PC
Bee at Lissadell by Pamela Cassidy Bee at Lissadell by Pamela Cassidy
Mating butterflies by Pamela Cassidy Butterflies mating by Pamela Cassidy
Mating common blues by Pamela Cassidy Common Blue by Pamela Cassidy
Tortoiseshell on daisies by Pamela Cassidy Orange butterfly
Yellow cloud butterfly by Pamela Cassidy Small White by Pamela Cassidy
Hard at work in the Garden by Pamela Cassidy Orange butterfly by Pamela Cassidy
tortoiseshell in lilac by Pamela Cassidy Green veined white at Lissadell by Pamela Cassidy
Peacock by Pamela Cassidy Moth & Bee by Pamela Cassidy
Peacock by Pamela Cassidy pearl-bordered fritillary by Pamela Cassidy
Bee on hydrangea by Pamela Cassidy Cabbage White by Pamela Cassidy
Butterfly colour by Pamela Cassidy tortoiseshell on yellow flower by Pamela Cassidy
Lilly with bee & ladybird by PC Marbled butterfly by Pamela Cassidy

Butterflies and moths include the couded yellow, the pearl-bordered fritillary, the hummingbird hawk moth, the tiger moth, the small tortoiseshell, the painted lady, the small white (mating), the peacock, the green veined white, the cabbage white, the speckled wood, the small copper and the common blue (engaged in a mating dance); and a rather battered scarce swallowtail.

Ed checking his sunflowers by Pamela Cassidy Caterpillar on Sunflower by PC
Orange Bee by Pamela Cassidy Ladybird on blade of grass by Pamela Cassidy Painted Lady visiting at Lissadell by Pamela Cassidy
Orange Bee by PC Orange bee by Pamela Cassidy
Bee by PC Bee with pollen sac by Pamela Cassidy Bee by PC

The walled Alpine Garden at Lissadell, and the crevice garden

Crevice Garden at Lissadell Alpine Garden at Lissadell by Pamela Cassidy
Crevice Garden at Lissadell by Pamela Cassidy

Lissadell is famous as the childhood home of Constance Markievicz, her sister Eva Gore Booth and her brother Josslyn Gore Booth. Constance was one of the leaders of the 1916 Rising, and was the first woman to be elected to Dail Eireann, where she served as Minister for Labour (thus becoming the first woman minister in a modern European democracy), and was also the first woman to be elected to the House of Commons at Westminster, London (where she declined to take her seat). Eva was a poet of distinction and an active suffragist, clashing with the young Winston Churchill over barmaids' rights in 1908. Josslyn created at Lissadell one of the premier horticultural estates in Europe. This horticultural enterprise has now been recreated at Lissadell. Sligo born poet W. B. Yeats was friendly with the Gore Booth sisters and stayed at Lissadell in 1893 and 1894. He immortalised Lissadell and the Gore Booth sisters in his poetry:

Oyster Beds at Lissadell by PC

The light of evening, Lissadell
Great windows open to the south
Two girls in silk kimonos, both
Beautiful, one a gazelle. ...

Many a time I think to seek
One or the other out and speak
Of that old Georgian mansion, mix
pictures of the mind, recall
That table and the talk of youth,
Two girls in silk kimonos, both
Beautiful, one a gazelle.

W. B. Yeats


click on the image below

Avenues at Lissadell before restoration

Robin Redbreast

Ed shootin pix by PC Robin by Ed

Narcissus Acme (Poeticus) at Lissadell in 1906, and Narcissi today

Lissadell dafs 1906 Dafs by Pamela Cassidy

Lissadell House & David Langford receive top award for heritage potatoes

Lisadell House in Sligo is one of five winners to receive a top award for keeping Ireland’s traditional culinary heritage alive. The EirGrid Euro-Toques Food Awards aknowlegde food producers or individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to Irish food.

Lissadell wins top food award

Euro-Torques Award Winners photographed by Robbie Reynold

From left: Margaret Delaney from Glenfin Free Range Duck Eggs; Isobel Cassidy from Lissadell; Bobby O'Flynn from O'Flynn Meats; Brenda O'Riordan from Love Fish and Michelle Costello from Cuinneog Butter.


There were five winners, selected by the Irish branch of the European Community of Chefs and Cooks, including Lissadell House and David Langford in Sligo for preserving and reviving many traditional varieties of potatoes, including rare and heritage potatoes. Click on Kitchen Garden above for more information about our heritage potatoes.

Roses, Lavender, Nepeta, Pumpkins, Sunflowers, Apples, Strawberries

Alpine Garden Pond Lissadell by Pamela Cassidy Alpine Garden at Lissadell by Pamela Cassidy
Lissadell by Pamela Cassidy Sunflower by Pamela Cassidy Lissadell
Deer in woodland glade by Pamela Cassidy Lissadell by Pamela Cassidy
Lissadell by Pamela Cassidy Strawberries at Lissadell






On 01 August 2010

The new exhibition in the Yeats Gallery displays a definitive collection of first edition and rare books, original letters, paintings, drawings, photographs and ephemera focussing on the life and works of the poet William Butler Yeats, his brother the artist Jack, his father the portrait painter John; the artistic works of his sisters Lily and Lolly at the Cuala Press; and the works of thier literary and artistic contemporaries. The collection is both comprehensive and unique, and has been painstakingly assembled over the past five years. For more information click on YEATS above.

Leonard Cohen in the Yeats' Gallery at Lissadell

Leonard Cohen at the Yeats Gallery on 01 August, 2010

Leonard Cohen by Pamela Cassidy

EXHIBITIONS at Lissadell include the Constance Markievicz Exhibition opened by An Taoiseach in March 2007, an exhibition of the paintings of AE (George Russell) and our natural history collection.

WBYeats at Lissadell Constance Markievicz at Lissadell AE by Orpen at Lissadell

Images of W. B. Yeats, Countess Markievicz and AE (George Russell) on display at Lissadell

Jewelwing dragonfly by Pamela Cassidy

Jewelwing Dragonfly




Lissadell by Pamela Cassidy Alpine Garden at Lissadell by Pamela Cassidy
Apple trees Lissadell by PC Lissadell garden mint by Pamela Cassidy
Men at work in the Alpine Garden at Lissadell by Pamela Cassidy Primula Candelabra in the woods at Lissadell by Pamela Cassidy
Primroses by PC Winter storms at Lissadell by Pamela Cassidy
tulip by pc Pink cabbage garnish by PC

Haymaking at Lissadell by PC

Lissadell is a family home.

Access to the House, Gardens or any part of the grounds is by permission only.

Ben Bulben, summer and winter, viewed from Lissadell (below)

Benbulben from Lissadell by PC

Seagull in flight at Lissadell by Pamela Cassidy

Drumcliff Bay by Pamela Cassidy

Benbulben by Pamela Cassidy

Photographs copyright Pamela Cassidy, Lissadell. No reproduction without express, written, permission