Connemara Travel Blog› entry 12 of 13 › view all entries
I vaguely remember seeing a photograph years ago of this fairy-tale looking "castle" in Ireland. I had NO idea when we came around the corner in Kylemore, that this was it.
Kylemore Abbey is a functioning convent run by the Benadictine nuns. Girls are accepted from all over to attend the school and live at the abbey (, and I can see why. It is amazing. During our tours through the grounds, it is made clear that you are not to disturb the nuns for any reason, nor talk with the children. This is thier home and school and you are expected to respect that.
The castle is only 150 years old, but with a very colorful history and lots of drama. It was built 1867-1871 by Mitchell and Margaret Henry.
In 1920 the Benedictine nuns purchased the abbey and it has been in their possession ever since. A select number of young women attend the international boarding school.
We wandered to the gardens, which are maintained and used by the nuns in the running of the abbey. The gardens seem to go on forever! It was so peaceful to just wander through and enjoy the day. There is a large area that is the "kitchen garden" where the herbs are all used for the kitchen within the abbey.
If you are going to visit western Ireland, this is an absolute must see. Though not as old as the other castles you will find, the love story of the Henrys and the tragedy surrounding their story make it a little more special.