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Killarney, County Kerry, Ireland
Muckross House is situated 4 miles from Killarney between Lough Leane and Muckross Lake in the Killarney National Park.
Muckross House is a 65 room Tudor Style Mansion house built over three floors and set in formal gardens.
The Muckross House Estate consists of gardens and 3 traditional farms, all of which can be visited freely and the mansion house open to the public by guided tour. The house is particularly interesting to those who enjoy period furniture of the 19th century.
The gardens are especially popular between April and July when the Rhododendrons are in full bloom, visitors can also see the Rock Garden, the Stream Garden and the Sunken Garden along with a beautiful arboretum. The walled garden is also where visitors will find the restaurant, gift shop and craft workshops which include pottery, bookbinding and weaving.
The traditional farms all demonstrate the farming methods of the 1930's, there is the opportunity to visit a carpenters workshop, a blacksmith's forge and a laborer's cottage, with all the dwellings being furnished with typical furniture of the day.
Muckross House is also the visitor centre for the Killarney National Park. The centre offers an audio-visual theatre where visitors can experience 'Mountain, Wood and Water' an introduction to the park. The House and gardens are open year round (except Christmas) from 09:30 to 17:30 hrs daily.
Muckross House was built in 1843 by architect William Burn for Henry Herbert. The house was not built to the original specification however which was a much grander affair; it is believed that the plans were scaled down at the request for Herbert's wife, Mary.
Not long after its construction the Herbert's were obliged to extensively improve the house and gardens in preparation for the visit of Queen Victoria in 1861. Unfortunately all this extra expense caused the Herbert's great financial difficulty and consequently the house was put up for sale.
The castle was purchased by Lord and Lady Ardilaun; of the Guinness brewing family and it they who added the 'themed' parts of the garden. The next owners were the family of Senator Arthur Rose Vincent, they were also keen gardeners and on the death of Maud; senator Vincent's wife, in 1932 the land was donated to the state and now makes up much of the Killarney National park in her memory.
Muckross House often stages classical music concerts, poetry readings and opera events throughout the year.
Other Castles in the Area
Aghadoe Round Tower, County Kerry
Ballymalis Castle, County Kerry
Ballyseede Castle, County Kerry
Carrignacurra Castle, County Cork
Parkavonear Castle, County Kerry
Ross Castle, County Kerry