MARCH 14th 2017
After some deliberations with my project colleagues we decided that the best course of action to take in order to collect information regarding Thoor Ballylee/Yeats Tower was to search the online catalogue of the Architectural Archives on Merrion Square, Dublin 2. I did in-fact find a number of useful books, paper clippings
and engravings for Yeats Tower and a lovely model sized replica table that sits in one of the rooms of the tower. After discovering these items I called the Irish Architectural Archive to arrange an appointment for the 14th of March 2017. Gavin, Maria and I met at a cafe beside Pearse Street train station and walked up to Architectural offices in Merrion Square for our 11:00 am appointment. When we arrived there, we put our coats and bags in the lockers provided in the basement cloakroom and made our way to the reception. I filled out my details on a registration form and received my
reader’s card from the staff member. He then kindly brought out the materials I had requested by phone. The staff member brought out a periodical called Thoughts on Thoor Ballylee by Joseph M. Hassett (1986); a pamphlet which had illustrations and pen and ink sketch plans of Thoor Ballylee by Liam Miller & Mary Hanley (1977) and a book called the W.B. Yeats’ Banqueting Table by Oliver Hennessy (1993). In addition to the reading and illustrative material, the archive also had a replica scale model of a table that adorns one of the tower’s rooms. We searched through all the material and photographed all the relevant illustrations that might help us with scale and texture of the tower.
Gavin suggested that we ask the staff member on duty about the possibility of the archive having architectural plans from a refurbishment of the Tower in 1963 by the architect Dermot O’Toole.
This was a long-shot, but we needed more information on the Tower, if we were to be successful in our project. The staff member checked for us and to our astonishment, the archive did have the plans. We immediately set up our camera and unrolled the plans on the table. We took turns taking the photos of all the refurbishment plans and uploaded the RAW images to our laptop to use at at a later date. Then we rolled the plans back up and gathered all our reading material together and returned them to the staff member at the reception and left the archive.