Yeats Tower at Thoor Ballylee Case Study

September 13, 2021
Case Study

Prior to implementing the Great Visitor Experiences solution, Thoor Ballylee had been looking at ways to restructure their site operations owing to issues brought up by the pandemic and by re-occurring issues caused by on-site flooding. Telling the story of the site in a sustainable & straightforward way to passers-by & more inquisitive visitors meant implementing a solution that was accessible even when the tower itself remained closed to visitors.

“We found Great Visitor Experiences easy & professional to work with, very flexible in terms of our requests & they delivered this service in a prompt & professional manner. They have helped the volunteer group to bring 500 years’ of history to life for our visitors.”

Rena McAllen-Yeats Thoor Ballylee Society

The Great Visitor Experiences team went onsite with the volunteers from the Yeats Thoor Ballylee Society to discuss what was important for them to communicate to visitors and what would be the most beneficial way to provide this information to them. As the gardens surrounding the tower are open to visitors at all times the society wanted to be able to provide information to all visitors but couldn’t always justify having staff or volunteers onsite, so the solution needed to be accessible & visible to visitors. Great Visitor Experiences helped the Society to bring the story of their site to life by utilising their vast bank of curated content and brought the key elements of it to life via audio, text, and pictures files hosted on our interpretive app. We identified & mapped out 10 hotspots on the site, linked them with specific content using QR codes and made them available to visitors for free by installing signage around the site.

This interpretive technology will bring to life the story of this unique place once described by the poet Seamus Heaney “In cultural terms – the most important building in Ireland” and through the use of audio content hosted on the app provide an immersive experience with the poetry & song that the site inspired.

The history of ‘Yeats Tower’ couldn’t be told without acknowledging and trying to find a solution to the threat of flooding that exists at the site. By hosting the QR codes on waterproof panels secured with waterproof adhesives Great Visitor Experiences has enabled storytelling to be in place for visitors all year round even if the building is again damaged by flood waters. The signage used is discreet (less than 0.4m2 over a 3-acre site) so as to have minimal environmental impact on the site, is made from eco-friendly materials, and eradicates the need to the Society to spend thousands of euros on printed maps & brochures which could end up as litter on the site.

Great Visitor Experiences are delighted to have played a role in bringing the history of this site to life and being the latest link in the storytelling chain of this unique building that stretches back over 500 years.

To find out more about how the Great Visitor Experiences solutions could help you contact us here

Yeats Cottage
*Photo credit: Burren Lowlands Group