Kylemore Abbey is ready to invite visitors in 2023 to its incredible location and the many stories associated with this popular attraction have come to life in a new Visitor Experience titled “From Generation to Generation.”
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In 2019, Kylemore Abbey was completely renovated under the direction of its owners, a Benedictine order of nuns who have been living in this beautiful spot for the past 100 years.
The new additions included a suite of four authentically refurbished rooms and a multimedia presentation that recounts the abbey's storied history.
The History of Kylemore Abbey
The story of the abbey, which is an hour and 15-minute drive from Galway City, began with Englishman Mitchell Henry and his wife, Margaret Vaughan Henry.
In the mid-1800s, Henry bought what was then a hunting lodge as an elaborate token of the love he had for his wife and proceeded to turn it into the castle you see today.
When complete, the beautiful Kylemore had all the conveniences of the Victorian Age, with 33 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, 4 sitting rooms, a ballroom, a billiard room, a library, study, school room, smoking room, gun room, and various offices and living areas for the domestic staff.
The following restored rooms are open to visitors.
Mitchell Henry’s Library and Study
Here you will learn about the Henry couple and their lives at Kylemore Abbey.
The room includes speaking portraits and hidden audio and visual effects that enhance the visitor experience.
Inner Hall and Saloon Hall
The highlight of this area of the house is the grand staircase.
Marvel at the fine Italian marble fireplace and hand-stenciled wallpapers that have been refurbished to capture the original spirit and ambiance of Kylemore Abbey.
Here you will see the only portrait of Margaret Henry as well as one of her ball dresses from the period.
This was where the ladies read, sewed, and entertained their guests during the day.
In this room, you will learn about daily life at Kylemore, as well as the hobbies, trials, and achievements of the Henry children.
Take a look at the walls lined with black and gold silks, as they were during the castle's heyday.
The table is laid as if guests are about to arrive.
The Ante Room, which leads visitors between the Dining Room and the inner hallways of the home, introduces visitors to the many guests that were entertained at Kylemore, including the Duke and Duchess of Manchester and others.
Gallery Saloon Hall
This is where the former residents of Kylemore met for drinks before dinner.
Other Attractions at the Abbey
There is so much more to see at Kylemore Abbey.
Its other attractions include a beautiful Victorian walled garden, once compared to Kew Gardens in London; a neo-Gothic church built in the style of a 14th-century chapel and often described as a “cathedral in miniature;” as well as a mausoleum, the final resting place of the Henrys.
The abbey is open November through March from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., April through mid-July, 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., mid-July through late August 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., and September through October, 9:30 a.m. through 5:30 p.m.
Tickets must be booked online