Exploring the church and cemetery at Drumcliffe

We drove to Drumcliffe twice that day, first on a misty morning, but then again after dinner after the clouds dissipated and the sun shone.

Drumcliffe. Imagery © 2016 Data SIO, NOAA, U.S. Navy, NGA, GEBCO Landsat. Map data © 2016 Google.

Drumcliffe is a village in County Sligo in northwest Ireland. It has roots to the sixth century, when St. Colmcille founded a monastery here.

A church and cemetery stand near Drumcliffe, and that’s what we went to see. We were mostly interested in the site’s great view of the giant rock formation Benbulben, and we also wanted to see an 11th-century Celtic high cross that’s here.

But Drumcliffe is also well known as the gravesite of William Butler Yeats, the well-known early-20th-century poet. Yeats spent part of his childhood in County Sligo.

Margaret and I got our best photographs here during our evening visit. We even enjoyed, and took full photographic advantage of, several minutes of golden light as the sun began to set. It beautifully lit the church, ravens circling its tower.

Church at Drumcliffe

The church has large, lovely, and unusual swan door handles.

IMG_3742 rawproc.jpg

This 11th-century Celtic cross is in line of sight of the church.

Celtic cross at Drumcliffe

I was starting to lose this delicious light. It lasted such a short time.

Church at Drumcliffe

We paid a moment’s respects to W. B. Yeats, who is buried here.

Yeats' grave

His grave has a lovely view of Benbulben.

Yeats' grave

Here’s a panoramic shot of the famous rock formation.


Canon PowerShot S95, except for the panorama, which is Apple iPhone 6s

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8 responses to “Exploring the church and cemetery at Drumcliffe”

  1. Dan Cluley Avatar
    Dan Cluley

    Interesting proportions to that church. Maybe it’s just the angle of your photo, but it sort of looks like an impressive tower waiting for the rest of the church to arrive.

    I particularly like the shot with just the top of the tower peeking over the trees.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      There is a lot of tower there. I can’t remember offhand whether I edited that photo to correct keystoning or not, because if I did, it would have exaggerated the height of the tower a little bit.

  2. Mel & Suan Avatar

    Its very nice! Wonder why our tour did not make a stop here!

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      You were shorted! :-)

      1. Mel & Suan Avatar

        Lol. We are going to complain. Complain! lol

  3. Don Massenzio Avatar

    Beautiful photos. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar
  4. Sam Avatar

    Jim, excellent pics and reportage. The light and birds in that first pic is fantastic!!

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