Kylemore Travel Blog› entry 12 of 25 › view all entries
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.
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.
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.