A 6-acre Victorian garden west of the castle and south of Duchruach mountain
Even the 125 tenants living on the land surrounding the estate grew to love and appreciate this prince of a landlord from Manchester, England. Windows were installed in every tenant’s cottage on the estate;
Life went on this way for years and years; everyone having anything to do with Kylemore Estate prospered. Alas, the evil hand of misfortune reached out to touch the prince's charmed life.
To walk the grounds of that fairy tale one-hundred-fifty years later was pure magic, despite the steady drizzle the day of our visit.
I think our prince would have welcomed the Benedictine Nuns escaping war-torn Ypres in Belgium. They purchased his then neglected 19th century castle along with 10,000 acres in 1914 for a little over 45,000 pounds, almost three times what Mitchell Henry paid for the estate in the mid-1800s. The nuns’ longstanding tradition of education prompted the opening of an international boarding school for girls on the grounds in 1923. By 1930 a day school was added for local girls seeking an education. June of 2010 saw the last students of Kylemore Abbey sit for final exams.
The Benedictine Nuns remain in residence today as directors of the Kylemore Trust, providing the spiritual heart behind the continuing fairy tale surrounding this magical place as well as
The Bottom Line on Kylemore Abbey
Verdict: If you’re into Gothic Revival fairytales in the most idyllic of settings in Ireland, and a steady drizzle doesn’t dampen your spirits, then you won’t want to miss this piece of magic. If
you get a beautiful, sunny day while visiting, let me be the first to acknowledge you too live a charmed life.
Insider Information: If you’re short on time (we had only two hours) consider what you’d really like to see before heading off to conquer today's 1,000 acre Kylemore site. There’s really not much to see inside the castle; the drawing room, dining room, and entry are open to the public.
Nearby food: Adjacent to the Visitor’s Center is a restaurant (and gift shop!).