Ballyscullion Park Inaugural Book Festival

Ballyscullion Park Inaugural Book Festival
11th-12th May 2024

Our first Ballyscullion Park Book Festival is a celebration of literature, music and art in the heart of Seamus Heaney country.

The Mulholland family is delighted to welcome you to the inaugural Ballyscullion Park Book Festival.  Literature has always been at the heart of the family history, with connections to Jane Austen and Charlotte Brontë. 

The theme of the event is based around the late 18th Century when the original Bishop’s Palace was built at Ballyscullion Park; the landscape and literature, and how people lived then. Talks will take place in venues around the beautiful walled garden in the grounds of Ballyscullion House. The original house built on the estate in the 1780s was the Earl Bishop of Derry’s palace, which is now in ruins.

Be transported by talks from eminent writers and historians into this fascinating century and beyond, up to the present day.

Garden and landscape design and planting also blossomed with the new aesthetic of the Picturesque, and with plants collected by dedicated plantsmen from all over the world.

A childhood spent in the beautiful rural landscape around Bellaghy and Lough Beg provided inspiration for Seamus Heaney’s poetry, and W B Yeats also found poetic inspiration in the parklands of country houses of Co Sligo. Hear how our contemporary novelists and poets also respond to the spirit of place in ancient Irish landscapes.

Discover the story of Turlough O’Carolan, the blind harpist, who brought traditional Irish music into the drawing rooms of Ireland. Immerse yourself in the poetry and writings of WB Yeats 100 years after he received the Nobel Prize for Poetry.

The Festival Programme will consist of talks on a wide range of subjects, with several inspiring speakers to choose from each day. 


  • On Saturday afternoon there will be a show by Celtic Grace celebrating the life and Celtic Baroque music of Turlough O’Carolan. Drinks and canapés will be served at this event.
  • On Sunday afternoon, we will have a performance of poetry and music to celebrate the centenary of W B Yeats being awarded the Nobel Prize for Poetry.

Refreshments will be available throughout the Festival from a variety of first class food vendors, sited within the walled garden.

Our speakers will be on hand between talks to sign copies of their books and for a chat.  

Weekend and day tickets are available.