The Victorian Romantics of Burtonport in County Donegal have eschewed modern life in order to live according to 19th century values.
A group of women known as the Victorian Romantics live in Atlantis House in Burtonport. The property was previously inhabited by the Atlantis commune known locally as the Screamers.
A short film made for the Late Late Show shows the ladies visiting Michael Farren’s butchers shop in Dungloe, a maid carrying out various duties, instruction being given on deportment, and members of the group sewing and reading by gaslight while listening to their wind up gramophone.
Mistress of the house Miss Clare Tyrrell, originally from England and her housekeeper, New Zealander Miss Reiner, appear on the ‘The Late Late Show’ to explain why they have chosen to live as Victorians. Miss Tyrrell says,
We don’t concern ourselves with present at all, we live in a little world inside our house.
Miss Tyrrell is not living in a precise year and the different members of the household each favour different periods within the Victorian era. Miss Tyrrell prefers the early part of Queen Victoria’s reign as she enjoys being demure, modest and ladylike. Another member of the group prefers the mid 19th century and chooses to wear a crinoline petticoat.
Miss Tyrrell is keen to stress the group are not simply escaping the modern world.
We see it as something much more creative and enjoyable than that.
This episode of ‘The Late Late Show’ was broadcast on 25 March 1988. The presenter is Gay Byrne.