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Trees around Ireland (52)
Lady Augusta Gregory married her husband William, 35 years her senior, in 1880. He had made his fortune in India and she became the mistress of his large house and country estate in County Galway.
Lady Gregory, an Irish dramatist, folklorist, patron of the arts, and theater manager, was one of the co-founders and driving forces of the Irish Literary Theatre and the Abbey Theatre in Dublin. Abbey Theatre – (National Theater of Ireland) – first opened its doors to the public on 27 December 1904. In its early years, the Abbey Theatre was closely associated with the writers of the Irish Literary Revival, many of whom were involved in its founding and most of whom had plays staged there.
Lady Gregory was very involved in many areas of the revival of Irish Culture and Nationalism. Her home at Coole Park served as an important meeting place and haven for leading literary and artistic figures.
The house (now demolished) and all the attached land at Coole Park were sold to the Irish Forestry Commission in 1927, with Lady Gregory retaining tenancy for the remainder of her life.
Coole Park is a nature reserve of approximately 1,000 acres located a few miles west of Gort, County Galway, Ireland. It is managed by the Irish National Parks & Wildlife Service, part of the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.
Within the historic walled garden of Coole Park stands a special monumental European copper beech thought to be planted in 1803. This copper beech is engraved with the initials of many of the leading and world-renowned figures of the Irish Literary Revival who were personal friends of Lady Gregory. These include the initials of William Butler Yeats, Edward Martyn, George Bernard Shaw, John Millington Synge and Seán O’Casey. A plaque at the base of the tree helps with identification as some of the initials are becoming faint due to the natural healing of the bark wounds.
Coole Park Nature Reserve
County Galway, Ireland
© by rgb for “On Dragonfly Wings with Buttercup Tea”, 2011 – 2018