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Kylemore Abbey Castle

The magnificent Kylemore Abbey sits in the picturesque location of Connemara and is one of the most beautiful buildings in Ireland to date. The building has been a home to the wealthy, a living for the poor, a place of refuge for the devout and a school to Children. While it may look like a building it has housed and provided for the Irish people in times of great suffering, poverty and persecution.

Mitchell & Margaret Henry

Mitchell was the son of a extremely wealthy cotton merchant who was of Irish origin. He was a well educated successful pathologist & eye doctor when he met and fell in love with Margaret. Although he was English born, he had a profound love for Ireland and the Irish people and considered himself more Irish than English. He travelled Connemara looking for a home for himself and his new bride. Upon his fathers death he inherited his large fortune and business and immediately quit his job and moved to Connemara to start his new home and starting a political career. The Kylemore Abbey Castle was built from an idea and one which would have a profound effect on the residents of Connemara, providing jobs and shelter at a time when the country was poverty stricken. He entered politics hoping to make a change and viewed Kylemore as a long term project that would uplift a poor region of Ireland. Sadly, Margaret passed away after a brief illness while abroad on holiday, which changed the Henry family dynamic forever. The family continued to soldier on without their beloved wife and mother and continued to expand the estate. Mitchell held lavish banquets for his guests, he set up a school for his workers children and worked as Galway MP trying to change the current situations of peoples living standards and upholding peoples rights. Mitchel sold the property to the ninth duke of Manchester.

 

The Duke & Duchess of Manchester

The Duke of Manchester also known as William Montague and his wife Helena Zimmerman purchased the home from the Henry family. William was a well – known playboy and gambler who became penniless from his foolish lifestyle. Helena was the daughter of a wealthy business man and and her popularity was well known all over. Helenas parents objected to their union, so the couple eloped in Paris. Once married, her parents accepted him as their son in law and purchased the Kylemore Abbey for them. Helenas parents are believed to have funded the lavish home and lifestyle. When Helenas father passed away the couple could no longer afford to run the home and they sold it to the benedictine nuns.

The Benedictine Nuns

In 1920, the benedictine nuns were forced to flee their Abbey in Ypres, Belgium at the height of World War 1. The nuns were rescued by the Royal Munster Fusiliers. They bought the Kylemore Abbey and restored it using donations. They set up a boarding school and a day school for girls in the locality. The school ran for almost 100 years and closed in 2010. They currently offer retreats and new educational activities including a student partnership program with the Catholic college Notre Dame. Students come to Kylemore and partake in creative writing classes, language and literature classes. As well as spiritual retreats for the students.

 

 

Kylemore Abbey is renowned for its beauty and it is open to the public. This is now a major tourist site and there are daily tours to the castle. The Victorian gardens are magnificent and has a beautiful walk around. We love the Kylemore so much that we have named a ring after this beautiful Irish place. Our Kylemore Claddagh Engagement ring can be found by clicking here.