Kylemore Abbey

Kylemore Castle (now Abbey) was built for Mitchell Henry and his wife during the 1860s. the couple honeymooned in Connemara during the Famine and loved the area so much they determined to establish an estate here. they employed many of the local community in building their new home at a time when there was no work and no prospects, particularly in an area as hard-hit by the potato blight as Connemara. consequently, the family was well respected by the local community, even now i am told.

i chose not to go in to the Abbey gardens or buildings — running short on time and disinclined to spend the entrance fee. but i think the location speaks enough for the place. imagine living here, or attending boarding school here!

after Mitchell Henry’s wife died, he didn’t return to Kylmore and, following his death, it was sold to someone with “new money” (in 1903) who squandered his money and ultimately lost the property (ten years later). in 1920, it was purchased by an order of Benedictine nuns, who have run it as a school since 1923 and who have restored the gardens to their original (and intended) glory. they make pottery, which they sell on the premesis (i got a tea mug with fucias painted on it), and the lake is (apparently) good for fishing.

Author: Erica

born in the midwest with wandering feet.