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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.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Ireland #18 Kylemore Abbey

Before I tell you about Kylemore Abbey,
I want you to see this picture.
We were driving along one day and I saw this guy on
his motorcycle.  Had to take a picture.
Ingenious way to carry a spare tire don't you think?
Wish my spare tire
could come off as easily as his does!
Now on to our next adventure.
After lunch at the beach and a bit of exploring,
we were off to Kylemore Abbey.
Another favorite attraction for many, including us. 
This is the first angle you see of the Abbey.  
Had to have a group shot, unfortunately someone
had to take the pictures, so Dave isn't in it again.
I took several different shots of the Abbey from across
the lake.
It's so beautiful and the surroundings are gorgeous.
Of course that had to include a selfie or two.

Did get a selfie with Dave too.
Now that you've seen Kylemore Abbey I'll tell you a bit about it.
Kylemore Castle was built by Mitchell Henry.
He and his wife, Margaret, were said to have spent their honeymoon 
in the area and loved it so much they dreamed of having a home in the area.
When Mitchell's father died and he inherited a considerable fortune,
he abandoned his medical practice and went into business and politics.
He built the castle complete with walled gardens,
walks and woodlands that covered over 13,000 acres of land.
Mitchell Henry turned thousands of acres of waste land
into the productive and beautiful 
Kylemore Estate.
The walks along the paths near the lake are just beautiful!
The views are spectacular!
I can only imagine living in a home like this,
with this amazing view.
The Henrys had 9 children and lived in this amazing home,
which had 33 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, 4 sitting rooms, a library
and more making up 70 rooms, over 40,000 square feet.
Sadly, in 1874 Margaret contracted dysentery while on a 
trip to Egypt with some of their children.
She died 16 days later at the age of 45.
Below is the Gothic Church that was built in memory of
Mitchell was said to be heart broken at the loss of his 
young wife and couldn't bear to have her buried in the cold ground of
a foreign country.  He had her embalmed body transported back 
to Ireland and built this miniature cathedral where she was
laid to rest.
Here is the inside of this beautiful church.
There is a graveyard alongside the church.
In 1920 Kylemore was purchased by the
Irish Benedictine Nuns along with 10,000 acres.
The castle was converted to an abbey and created an international
boarding school for girls.
The school was formally opened in 1923 and had 30 students.
The school flourished and attracted students from many countries
around the world.  They also educated local girls at no charge,
who studied alongside the wealthy boarding students.
There are some well known women who studied at Kylemore,
Angelica Heuston being one of them.
It is rumored that Madonna considered sending her daughter,
Lourdes to be educated at Kylemore Abbey.
Sadly due to societal changes and rising cost,
the school had to close after the 2010 school year.
The Abbey is now open for touring, although there are only
a few rooms open, they are quite amazing.
The 5 rooms open for viewing have been restored to 
their original Victorian style.

Flowers of the Day
Another of the attractions at Kylemore is the walled garden.
Mitchell Henry had 6 acre garden built between 1867 - 1871.
The gardens were comprised of flower/pleasure gardens and kitchen gardens.
The owners between the times of the Henry family and the Benedictine Community
basically ignored the gardens and they turned into a wilderness.
The glass houses fell into ruin leaving only their brick bases.
In 1996 the Benedictine Community, who have always used the gardens, began 
restoration on the unused and overgrown areas of the gardens.
To date, 2 of the glass houses have been rebuilt as well as other areas of the
gardens, which were reopened in 1999 and have again become award winning
Below you can see just why they are award winning.
They are just gorgeous!
This is what you see when you initially walk into the
walled garden.
Had to have a selfie at the garden!
A view from another angle.
Here are a few close ups of some of the lovely flowers.
In the previous post I showed some of the
Red Hot Pokers
they were bright red and orange.
I don't know if these are the same at a different 
phase of growth or a different variety, but they were beautiful.

Looking up from the lower part of the garden.

I took a few minutes to relax in a little sitting area
and enjoy the sunshine.
I turned and sitting on the bench not 3 feet from me was this
little bird.  He was so beautiful and didn't seem a bit afraid of me.
I took a look at the signs as I was leaving and
I believe he is a member of the robin family.
Although he had a beautiful red breast, his other coloring
was much different than the robins I see in our area.
His body structure was also different.
He sure was a beautiful little guy though.
I'm so glad you joined me today to learn a bit
about our visit to Kylemore Abbey.
I would surely recommend that you visit Kylemore 
if you are ever in Ireland.
There is even more to do and see there,
you could easily spend a day, not just an afternoon there.
For instance, you could hike up to the beautiful
statue of Jesus on the mountainside 
and look down over the entire estate.
In this picture I have circled the statue in red.
I'm guessing it would be quite the hike to get up there.
Maybe next time, we'll check out one of the hikes.
Next post we're off to Westport and the
"Worlds Best Seafood Chowder"


rebecca @ older and wisor said...

I cannot even IMAGINE living somewhere like that. SO beautiful!!

Jody Maurer said...

So Beautiful!