This building was a National School built in 1892 at the behest of the local landlord, Sir William Gregory of Coole Park, Gort.
The architect, Francis Persse was his brother-in-law and he incorporated into the building, the ornamental portions with which Sir William was familiar, when he was Governor of Ceylon.
The school was closed in 1960 and was acquired by the local branch of the Irish Farmers Association.
Restoration began in 1990 with the formation of the Kiltartan Gregory Cultural Society and assistance from Government Agencies and Local Fundraising. The Museum was officially opened by Mary Robinson on the 8th August, 1996. Check out our Blog Article here.
The Museum is Largely devoted to the works of Lady Gregory (1852 - 1932), widow of Sir William. The most renowned member of the Gregory family was Lady Gregory. During her time there, Coole became the meeting place for writers, chief of whom was W.B. Yeats who later bought Thoor Ballylee, Artists, Actors, Statesmen, Irish language enthusiasts, Folklorists and the traveling Musicians. She took an active interest in the welfare of her tenants. Lady Gregory and her son, Robert, were held in high esteem by local people.
Lady Gregory was the cofounders of the Abbey Theatre for which she wrote several plays. She collaborated with W.B. Yeats in collecting folklore and she formed a branch of the Gaelic League in this building in 1899. With the help of Douglas Hyde, later to become the first president of Ireland, she revived interest in the works of the blind poet, Rafferty. It is hoped that the opening of this museum will, in some way , compensate for the tragic demolition of Coole House in 1941 by the Department of Forestry.