Muckross House, Gardens and Traditional Farms

(photo Mike Sandover)

Muckross House is a magnificent Victorian mansion completed in 1843 for Henry Arthur Herbert. It is the last in a series of large houses constructed by the Herbert family on their lands at Muckross. The location of the House is spectacular, close to the eastern shore of Muckross Lake and set beneath the impressive backdrop of Torc and Mangerton Mountains.

The Herberts sold the estate in 1899, and after a short ownership by Lord Ardilaun (of the Guinness brewing family) it was purchased by the wealthy American William Bowers Bourn in 1910 as a wedding present for his daughter Maud and son-in-law Arthur Vincent. After the premature death of Maud, the house and estate were donated to the Nation by Arthur Vincent and his parents-in-law in 1932.

The Herbert memorial (photo Mike Sandover)In the mid 1960's the house, which has since been magnificently restored, was opened to the public, and today is one of the best known visitor attractions in the country, attracting upwards of 250,000 visitors each year. The elegantly furnished rooms portray the lifestyles of the landed gentry while downstairs in the basement the visitor can experience the working conditions of the servants employed in the house. Muckross Gardens (photo courtesy Muckross House)The House is also now home to a number of skilled craftworkers who can be viewed using the traditional skills of weaving, bookbinding and pottery. In addition to the House itself, Muckross Gardens are famed for their beauty and can be visited at any time.

Close to the House are the Muckross Traditional Farms, a working farm project that has recreated the Irish rural life of the 1930's, prior to electrification. Here visitors can see and experience the homes and lifestyles of both wealthy and poor farmers, and watch farming being carried out the traditional way, using horses in the fields for tilling, harvesting and so on. Traditional cooking also takes place in some of the houses here, and visitors can chat to the people of the house as well as to the farmers as they go about their daily work.

Muckross Traditional Farms (photo courtesy Muckross House)

Muckross House is jointly administered by Dúchas, The Heritage Service and the Trustees of Muckross House (Killarney) Ltd
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