Drumcliffe Tourist Attractions
The village of Drumcliffe (Droim Chliabh, "Back of the Baskets") lies in the deep bay of the same name in northwest Ireland, just to the north of Sligo. St Columba founded a monastery here in 574, the last Abbot of which died in 1503.The grandfather of W. B. Yeats was for many years the parish priest here, and the great Irish poet is buried in the churchyard. His gravestone bears the inscription which he himself composed:Cast a cold eyeOn life, on death:Horseman, pass by!
On the path leading to the Drumcliffe church is a high cross (National Monument) of about 1000. On the east side are Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel, Daniel in the Lions' Den and Christ in Glory, on the west side the Presentation in the Temple, two figures and the Crucifixion; the cross is also decorated with fabulous beasts and interlace ornament.
Teach Bán Contempory Artists Gallery
Various exhibits at Teach Bán Contempory Artists Gallery include painting, drawing, printmaking and sculpture. The gallery building is a modern extension to an old stone cottage.
The surroundings of Drumcliffe have much of interest for the visitor.
Near Drumcliffe, to the north of the village Benbulben (1,697ft/517m), a flat-topped hill with steeply scarped sides furrowed by gullies, rises abruptly out of the plain. This extraordinary table mountain features prominently in Irish legend. Here Queen Maeve and the Ulster hero CuChulainn fought for possession of a herd of great cattle, and here Diarmaid bled to death after his struggle with the great mountain boar of Benbulben. The slopes of the hill were also the scene of a historical event, the "Battle of the Books" in 561, which was followed by St Columba's departure from Ireland.The hill, which forms part of the Dartry Mountains, is of interest to geologists and botanists. From the top there are extensive views over the plain and the Atlantic.
4mi/6km west of Drumcliffe, in a park, is Lissadell House (admission free), built in 1834 for the grandfather of Countess Constance Markievicz and her sister Eva Gore-Booth. Countess Markievicz (née Gore-Booth) became involved in politics in Dublin and took part in the 1916 Rising. Eva Gore-Booth was a writer. Yeats, who wrote a poem about Constance, stayed in the house on several occasions.Lissadell House is now a private family home, admission is strictly by permission only.Guided walks are offered to visitos so they can discover hidden gardens in the process of bring restored, woodlands, features of the old Lissadell Demesne such as derelict greenhouses, gashouse, icehouse, an underground supply tunnel, the stable yard, sawmill and other treasures.
Southwest of Lissadell a small peninsula reaches out into Drumcliffe Bay. On it, at the fishing village of Raghly, are the Pigeon Holes - two holes in the rock into which the sea is driven with enormous force through underground channels.Also in this area are the picturesque ruins of Ardtermon Castle (17th C).
5mi/8km north of Drumcliffe on the N15 is Grange, from where a side road runs west to Streedagh. There a boat can be hired to go to the island of Inishmurray (which can also be reached from Mullaghmore).The island, 4.5mi/7km west of Streedagh, was still inhabited in the earlier part of this century. On it is an excellently preserved monastic establishment (National Monument) founded by St Molaise in the early sixth century and abandoned 300 years later after being raided and plundered. The monastic buildings were used by the later inhabitants and were thus preserved. The remains give an excellent impression of what such a settlement was like. A ring-wall between 10 and 15ft/3 and 4m high and of the same thickness at the base, with five entrances, surrounds an oval precinct measuring 60x45yd/53x41m divided into four enclosures of differing sizes. Within the precinct are the Men's Church, the little Oratory of Teach Molaise, the Church of the Fire, a beehive hut and altar-like masonry structures. On one of these are the famous Curse Stones, round speckled stones which are believed to be effective in putting a curse on an enemy. All round the island are various memorial stones and station chapels, which were visited by pilgrims in a prescribed sequence. From St Patrick's Memorial, at the eastern tip of the island, there is a fine view of the mainland.
Creevykeel Court Cairn
5mi/8km north of Grange, near the village of Cliffoney, is the Creevykeel Court Cairn (National Monument), one of the finest in Ireland. A wedge-shaped stone wall encloses an open court, beyond which are a double-chambered gallery, two other chambers and remains of still another. The site is thought to be about 4,500 years old.
From Cliffoney a minor road leads on to the Mullaghmore Peninsula, with a sheltered sandy beach, a boating harbor and good sea fishing. The hotel arranges trips to the island of Inishmurray.