Kylemore Castle, also known as Kylemore Abbey, is a Victorian-era castle located in Connemara, County Galway, Ireland. It was built in the late 19th century as a private residence and later converted into a Benedictine monastery. Here are some key points about Kylemore Castle:
Construction and History:
- Kylemore Castle was built between 1867 and 1871 by Mitchell Henry, a wealthy politician and businessman, as a gift for his wife Margaret.
- The castle is situated on the shores of Pollacappul Lough and is surrounded by the stunning Connemara landscape.Architecture:
- The castle is designed in a neo-Gothic style with a combination of Victorian and Irish architectural elements.
- It features a 6-acre Victorian-walled garden, which has been restored and is open to the public.Ownership Changes:
- Mitchell Henry and his wife lived at Kylemore for only a short period. After Mitchell’s wife, Margaret, died in 1874, he sold the estate.
- The castle changed hands several times before being purchased by the Duke and Duchess of Manchester in 1903.Benedictine Monastery:
- In 1920, Kylemore Castle was sold to the Benedictine nuns who fled Belgium during World War I. They sought refuge in Ireland and eventually settled at Kylemore, where they established a boarding school for girls.
- The Benedictine community restored and maintained the estate, transforming it into Kylemore Abbey.Visitor Attraction:
- Kylemore Abbey is now a popular tourist attraction, drawing visitors from around the world. The estate includes the castle, the Gothic church, the walled garden, and a Victorian-era glasshouse.
- Visitors can explore the rooms of the castle, learn about its history, and enjoy the beautiful surrounding landscape.Current Use:
- The Benedictine Nuns continue to reside at Kylemore Abbey and manage the estate. They also run a girls’ secondary school on the premises.
- The estate has been carefully preserved, and ongoing restoration efforts have ensured that visitors can experience the beauty of Kylemore Castle and its surroundings.
Kylemore Castle/Angels of Angels is a significant historical and architectural landmark, and its picturesque setting in the Connemara region adds to its allure.