Timeline

1768 Robert Gregory (1727-1810) Chairman of the East India Company buys 600 acres from Oliver Martyn of nearby Tulira

1770 The house is built to a design by James Lewis from Gibbs Manual

1776 Arthur Young records in “A tour of Ireland” that many miles of walls are being constructed and also that “Mr Gregory has a very noble nursery, from which he is making plantations, which will soon be of great ornament to the country”

1810 – 1839 Richard Gregory (second son of Robert) succeeds and continues the planting of trees. He also develops the library and has the bust of Maecenas transported from Italy

1817 Birth of William Gregory, later to be Sir William, husband of Augusta Persse

1839 Richard dies. His younger brother William inherits Coole. He had been Under-Secretary for Ireland and lived mostly in Dublin. He dies in 1840 and is succeeded by Robert Gregory, father of Sir William

1842-47 William Gregory is elected MP for Dublin

1847 Robert Gregory dies and is succeeded by his son William

1850 Beech planted outside walled garden to provide shelter from wind and rain from the west

1851-57 William is forced to sell two-thirds of the estate to pay off gambling debts

1853-56 William devotes time and money to the planting of exotic conifers in his pinetum, north of the Walled Garden

1852 Isabelle Augusta Persse is born at Roxborough, Kilchreest, Co Galway

1871-77 William Gregory is appointed Governor of Ceylon (Sri Lanka) where he is knighted in 1875

1880 Sir William Gregory marries Isabella Augusta Persse

1881 Birth of Robert Gregory their only son

1892 Death of Sir William Gregory

1894 – 96 Lady Gregory continues tree planting at Coole and has her first brief meeting with William Butler Yeats in London. She completes and promotes the memoirs of her late husband, Sir William Gregory

1897 Lady Gregory and Yeats meet again in London and then at Doorus the home of Count de Basterot. From this meeting comes the idea of developing a literary movement. Yeats also spends time at Coole in the summer

1898 WB Yeats initials the autograph tree. An article by Lady Gregory on Tree Planting is published in The Irish Homestead

1899 Establishment of the Irish Literary Theatre, later to become the Abbey Theatre

1904 27th December The Abbey Theatre opens

1911 First tour to America

1909- 13 Birth of grandchildren, including Anne Gregory author of “Me & Nu, Childhood at Coole”

1918 Robert Gregory dies during WW1

1927 Sale of Coole to Irish State by Margaret, Lady Gregory’s daughter-in-law

1932 22nd May Lady Gregory dies at Coole aged 80

1941 House taken down

1927 – 87 Managed by the Forest Service & planted with quick growing conifers for commercial timber

1960s Opened to the public for amenity use

1983 Coole-Garryland Nature Reserve established

1987 – Present Managed by National Parks & Wildlife Service for conservation and public amenity use

1992 Coole Visitor Centre opens to the public

2014/15 Removal of single species commercial timber plantings to encourage regeneration of native species and to increase overall biodiversity in the nature reserve