About The Francis Ledwidge Museum  

This website is dedicated to the Irish poet Francis Ledwidge, known as the Poet of the Blackbird, who served as a soldier in the British Army fighting in World War 1 and was killed at the third battle of Ypres on the 31 July 1917 just seventeen days before his thirtieth birthday.

The site gives information on the life of the poet, his birthplace Slane, and the Francis Ledwidge Museum.

His first volume of fifty poems, Songs of the Fieldswas published while he was still a serving soldier with the British Army in 1915. Three months after his death in 1917 his second volume of poems appeared, Songs of Peace, and thirty three more poems under the title, Last Songs, came out in 1918.

His Complete Poems, numbering 122,were published a year later, in 1919.

Edward John Moreton Drax Plunkett, 18th Baron Dunsany, his patron and friend, was mainly responsible for the collection of these poems and all four volumes were published by Herbert Jenkins, London.

Poems have been found in various newspaper, periodicals etc and there are now more than 200 poems published to date.

We have an online bookshop where various publications on the poet can be purchased including his Complete Poems edited by Alice Curtayne.

Today he is remembered for his verse which is gathering a larger and ever increasing audience. The cottage where he was born is now the Francis Ledwidge Museum with original letters, poems and memorabilia on display. View his life story displayed on wall panels or wander around the beautiful and tranquil garden with its flowers and wild life.

After his untimely death in July 1917, a contemporary poet, John Drinkwater observed;

"His poetry exults me,while not so his death.....to those who know what poetry is,the untimely death of a man like Ledwidge is nothing but calamity." 

 Francis Ledwidge aged 25 in 1913

Francis Ledwidge Museum today 

 

SOLDIER’S HEART  - Francis Ledwidge at War


For the first time, a book has been written about the poet Francis Ledwidge’s experience as a soldier during World War I. The author is his grand-nephew Dr Frank Ledwidge, Barrister, and former military officer with the British Army. He describes and follows Francis Ledwidge’s life during the Great War. Frank, like his grand uncle also served in the Balkans. He describes his experience when on ‘peacekeeping’ mission in Kosova when conditions were similar to what Francis Ledwidge described when writing the poem ‘When Love And Beauty Wander Away’ in 1915.

 

‘Soldier’s Heart – Francis Ledwidge at War is an important and timely reminder of how war happens and its terrible cost. Frank Ledwidge has produced a unique testament to his great uncle’s life, ‘ a soldier amongst soldiers’; moving, detailed and revealing of the poet’s final years in WWI, Soldier’s Heart is essential reading…’

                                                              Gerald Dawe – Author,                                                     Of War and War’s Alarms (2015)

  Book is for sale on our Museum's online bookshop and also at Soltice Arts Centre in Navan and Slane Craft Shop. Price €12. Postage and Packaging €5.                                                            Don't delay, get your copy now - Great Christmas stocking filler!                       

We are delighted to announce the staff here at the Museum have completed their Covid 19 Safety Charter with Fáilte Ireland

Due to the escalation of Covid-19 restrictions to Level 3 in accordance with Government guidelines the Museum will remain closed from Wednesday 7th October until Wednesday 28th October.

Any queries please phone 0419824544 to leave a message or email info@francisledwidge.com 

Every year Ledwidge Day is held in Slane commemorating the anniversary of the death of Francis Ledwidge at the Third Battle of Ypres on the 31st July 1917. Because of Covid and the social distancing requirements, celebrations were restricted this year. However, members of the Francis Ledwidge committee and friends gathered to pay homage to the poet in the beautiful Museum garden at Janeville with a wreath laying ceremony, poetry and music.

All books, CD's are for sale on our Online Bookshop available through your PayPal account 

Admission Prices to Museum

Adults...………………€4

Students & Seniors €3

Family...…………….. €8.50

Children under 12...€1

Bus groups...………..€2.50 per person