Oftentimes, when a child is leaving their school for the day, they will ask their teacher “….and where do you sleep when we go home?” In their minds, the teacher has become absolutely integral to the building and the child can only imagine the teacher’s life within the confines of these familiar walls. It is a childlike thought that makes a teacher smile. It means that they have been successful at creating an atmosphere of home for the child and a sense of stability for them in their day-to-day interactions.
It was not that long ago that the schoolmasters and schoolmistresses of Ireland lived adjacent to or within the walls of the school building. Our Schoolhouse at Annaghmore in Co. Sligo offers a real example of this historic era. The current bedroom was once the original schoolmasters sleeping quarters. A separate snug downstairs is where the schoolmaster had his living quarters. The house is also peppered with furnishings from the nineteenth century such as chalkboards, coat hooks and a schoolhouse fireplace.
This is Yeats country and offers the ideal setting for anyone who would like to learn more about this fascinating man. Staying at the Schoolhouse offers a superb base by which to plunge into the life and land of this great iconic Irish poet.
Yeat’s poem ‘Among School Children’ opens with the following verse
I walk through the long schoolroom questioning;
A kind old nun in a white hood replies;
The children learn to cipher and to sing,
To study reading-books and history,
To cut and sew, be neat in everything
In the best modern way—the children’s eyes
In momentary wonder stare upon
A sixty-year-old smiling public man.
This poem documents Yeat’s visit to a convent school in 1926. Reading the first verse of the poem, one feel’s a real sense of Yeat’s presence as he moved through the corridors exploring the methods of education being offered to the children. In a similar vein, Schoolhouse at Annaghmore is a property that evokes the spirit of learning. Throughout this special property the educational advantages offered to the local children who attended this school in the 1860’s hang within the fabric of the building.
For those with an academic yearning to learn more about Yeats, the prestigious Yeats International Summer School takes place in Sligo from 19th – 27th July 2018. The programme of events for 2018 will focus on The Greening of Yeats and a host of international speakers are booked to attend.
We still have availability to stay in our Schoolhouse at Annaghmore during the time frame of the Summer School and Irish Landmark’s special scholarly setting could be the accommodation to perfectly complement this educational retreat.
An equally enjoyable learning experience and a really beautiful day out can be found close by in Lissadell House. There is a permanent exhibition on Yeats and a very interesting visual experience entitled ‘The Voice of Women – 100 years of Achievement?’ assessing one hundred years of achievement for women featuring Countess Markievicz, Eva Gore-Booth and tracing the emancipation of women through suffrage amongst its subjects