3-D Modelling Proposal by Maria Zoumaki,  Gavin McAllister & Justin Martin.

Title: Thoor-Ballylee – The Home of William Butler Yeats

Thoor Ballylee by Justin Martin

Case Study: The virtual construction of W.B. Yeats tower and its environs at Thoor-Ballylee Co. Galway.

Why a reconstruction:  It is agreed that the above reconstruction of Thoor-Ballylee be done in order to provide a better understanding of the entire site and its environs both inside and outside.

Firstly, it is the centenary of the Yeats family acquiring and residing at Thoor-Ballylee.

Secondly, the tower is regularly photographed from two different angles, so there are sections of the residence that are under-represented in terms of photography.  In addition, there is limited photographic documentation available from the inside of the tower; so we have decided to construct the 3-D model of Thoor-Ballylee using a photo-realistic representation of the building in order to capture the essence of the tower that inspired Yeats. While the monument has therefore been almost continually occupied for nearly five hundred years, we will concentrate on the last phase of that occupation which is how the tower looks today.

Reconstruction Context:  Museum Context

As a celebratory occasion to mark the one hundred year anniversary, the  case study in question  could be included in the forthcoming exhibition at the National Museum displaying a virtual tour of the tower. More specifically, the visitors would have the opportunity to  navigate themselves around the four rooms and floors of Yeats tower and the  landscape environment outside of the tower.

The National Library of Ireland could offer it’s audience a unique experience during the forth-coming exhibition by  allowing the visitors to become intimately acquainted with the tower exterior and it’s interior through a realistic viewpoint that will display the many textures and colours of the tower. Through additional multimedia means like Vue, Poser, Mudbox, the overall sense and aesthetic of the tower and its landscape [bridge, attached cottage, original features]  could be approached through visualisation, to give one a real sense of what the tower looked like during Yeats’ occupation

Available Data:

In order for the above modelling technique to be achieved, the data that is going to be utilised refers to drawings, photographic data-sets and correspondences relating to Thoor-Ballylee. Specifically, we are going to utilize Yeats’ collection form the National Library of Ireland from the below archive boxes:

  • MS 30,731: Materials relating to the restoration of tower at Thoor-Ballylee which includes photographs of the tower and as well Coole Park.
  • MS 30,860: Accounts and letters from architect Scott relating to Thoor-Ballylee and also sketches, plans etc. (32 pp., letters, 5 sketches/plans)
  • MS 30,881: Photostats of TS list of Thoor-Ballylee, furnishings etc (8 pp.)

in order to enrich our visualization both geometrical and with textural accuracy.


Hanley, Mary (Liam Miller ED.), Thoor Ballylee; home of William Butler Yeats. Edited by Liam Miller from a paper given by Mary Hanley to the Kiltartan Society in 1961. With a foreword by T.R. Henn.