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To make it easier to read about our trip to Ireland, I have made a page that is just for that. There is a tab above for Ireland Trip 2014 or click on the Home tab to read my other posts. I have also created a new page for My Weight Loss Journey if you are interested in that, click on the tab above.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Ireland #8 Muckross Estate

Remember to click on the pictures to see them larger.

Up and out fairly early to visit the 
Muckross Estate.
I saw this sign  on our way into Muckross Estate.
They sure are serious about that closing time.
Can you imagine having to call and pay to get out
if you run too late?!?!

Muckross House is huge!
Can you imagine living in a place this size?
We took a tour of the house and had a lovely girl as our guide.
Unfortunately, pictures aren't permitted inside the house, 
so I have nothing to show you, but believe me it is 
quite amazing.
This 65 room mansion was built in 1843,
in the 1850s a huge amount of time and money was spent
refurbishing and remodeling for the visit of Queen Victoria in 1861.
More than 3 years were spent on the preparation for the visit.
The queen spent 2 nights at Muckross House.
The Herbert family had a very elite social standing and were
counting on this visit to elevate their standing even more.
A knighthood was expected to be given to Mr. Herbert.
This never happened as just a short time after this visit,
Queen Victoria lost her husband and with his death
she went into mourning and apparently was never the same.
She withdrew and hence the knighthood never happened.
The Herberts lost much of their social standing as well as their 
financial stability.
The house was later sold to Arthur Guinness, who in turn sold it to
 William Bowers Bourn who made it a wedding gift to his beloved daughter
Maud and her husband.
After Maud's death at an fairly young age, 
the entire estate was gifted to 
The Republic of Ireland 
and it became the first national park of Ireland.

A beautiful view of the lake.

I thought this tree was pretty amazing, I have no idea how old
it is, but it is obviously very old and quite dramatic.

The gardens at Muckross are amazing,
had to have some pictures taken there.
Group shot of the "Celtic Adventurers"

Michael and Jane

Ed and Roxie
Unfortunately, the picture of Dave and me didn't turn out.

Can you imagine having a garden like this?
Just gorgeous.
(More about the flowers below.)
Then we were off to the Abbey and Cemetery.
The Abbey was built in 1448 by the Franciscans,
it has a violent history and was damaged
and reconstructed many times.  
The Friars were subjected to persecution and raids by marauding groups
The abbey is mostly roofless, and is a ruin, but it is
 fairly well preserved.
The Abbey from afar.
View from the cemetery.
Inside, the architecture is beautiful!

 There is a square courtyard with is surrounded by this vaulted cloister

There is a huge Yew in the courtyard that is 
as old as the abbey itself and is said to be the oldest living thing in 
Ireland, being over 500 yrs old.

There are loads of Celtic crosses in the cemetery at the Abbey.
Here are just a few 

Ed found some possible family and that was pretty exciting.
There is also a famous Gaelic poet named 
Geoffrey O'Donoghue
buried in this cemetery

Flowers of the Day

Muckross has some of the most beautiful hydrangeas I've ever seen
They have many different colors and many shades of each color as well.



There are long borders of hydrangea bushes 
with so many different colors that are all gorgeous!

They also have other types of flowers in their gardens.

It seemed that the red roses were just so saturated 
that I couldn't get a good defined picture of them.

I think that's enough for this post.
Thanks for stopping by and sticking with me till the end.
Next, the rest of our time at Muckross and Killarney.

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