APRIL 25th 2017

Today, I will begin  building my 3-D model based on the measurements that I took whilst in Gort, Co Galway and from the 1963 architectural drawings which we acquired from the Architectural Archives in Dublin 2.

The first problem I encountered was that the 1963 plans have some inaccuracies and short-comings.  The cottages on the drawing do not replicate the cottages that are now situated at Thoor Ballylee.  My journey to Gort now seems justified but on the other hand has left me with a difficult conundrum.  Do I build my 3-D model based on the 1963 drawing or do I build it the way it looks today? This was a tricky problem and I was not 100% sure which one to focus on.  The plans from 1963 show the two cottages which are separated by a path in-between. Currently, there is no path separating the two buildings.  The two cottages are now attached to one another, with the extension at the back being much longer than the main cottage at the front.

Thoor Ballylee Cottages by Gavin MacCallister

In addition to the geometrical changes stated above; the cottages and the tower were closed on the day of our visit. This also meant that we could not gather textural information on the day, or get a sense of the interior of any of the buildings.  These episodes made me choose the existing structure.

I wanted to stay true to the building that stands there now; thus, embracing the buildings evolution over the ages.  But at the same time, my colleagues Gavin and Maria are going to be working from the 1963 drawings.  After some deliberation, I came to the conclusion that the shape of the tower has not been altered on the outside in any way, shape or form, but the cottages I am building have been altered and thus, have a completely different shape now. So I decided to stay true to the existing building, and I figured that this will not impact on Gavin and Maria’s work on the tower or its environs.

In hind-sight, it was a good decision for us to take the trip to Gort to take photographs and measurements ourselves as there is a clear lack of information and precision in the plans we obtained from the archive.  If we had not undertaken the journey, we would have been stuck with photographs from the internet, which sometimes, do not give the full picture.