Kylemore Abbey

Kylemore Travel Blog

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Kylemore Castle now called Kylemore Abbey

Because we got an early start this morning, we were able to get to Kylemore Abbey before the tour buses.  Praise the Lord!  If there is one thing that really bothers me when traveling, it is fighting crowds of tourists.  I will do just about anything to avoid this scenario.  Whether it means traveling in the off season or getting up before sunrise.   Whatever it takes!

Kylemore Castle was built by Mitchell Henry and took four years to complete (1867-1871).  Mr. Henry used the money he inherited from his wealthy father, a Manchester cotton merchant, to construct this magnificent castle, complete with gardens, walks and woodlands, on the 13,000 acre estate.

Gothic chapel built in honor of Mitchell Henry's beloved wife who met an untimely death in 1874.
  The Henry family had nine children and enjoyed a happy life at Kylemore until the untimely death of Mrs. Henry in 1874.   She contracted some type of infection when traveling to Egypt and never recovered.   After the death of his beloved wife, Mr. Henry built a beautiful chapel in the Kylemore gardens and placed her body in a mausoleum there.  This will be Margaret Henry's final resting place here on earth.   The children and Mr. Henry moved back to England where he dedicated the rest of his life to his family, his tenants, and his political career.

The castle was sold and sold again.  Where there had been love and laughter, there was now silence and emptiness; a mere shadow of itself.  World War I.  The Great War.   The Benedictine Nuns of Belgium lost their abbey to the War; it was completely destroyed.
Benedictine Sister
   Twenty-four nuns fled to Ireland, searching for a new home.   There they found the Kylemore Castle in the scenic Pass of Kylemore and the castle became their new abbey.   Due to its sad condition of disrepair, they were able to purchase the castle and 10,000 acres of property for a mere fraction of the original costs.  The year was 1920.  Three years passed and the nuns established their international boarding school for girls that would become world famous.   The castle slowly began to come back to life as it was cleaned, repaired, and restored to it's original beauty.

The nuns house a pottery on the grounds.  Their bowls, cups, plates, etc., are all the same color and pattern and each piece is signed on the bottom for authenticity.  I purchased a nice vase and four deep cereal bowls, which I had shipped back to the States to avoid breakage.   When I travel, I enjoy purchasing pottery over most anything else.   Each piece is hand made and no two are the same.  I suppose having a piece of "something" made by human hand, not a machine, holds a great deal of significance to me.  Every time I use the dish or the bowl, I am reminded of where it was purchased and fond memories flood my mind.


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Kylemore Castle now called Kylemor…
Kylemore Castle now called Kylemo…
Gothic chapel built in honor of Mi…
Gothic chapel built in honor of M…
Benedictine Sister
Benedictine Sister
Front door of Abbey.  Sister and f…
Front door of Abbey. Sister and …
Two weary travelers resting on the…
Two weary travelers resting on th…
Kylemore
photo by: Malena23