Kylemore Castle

Kylemore castle - © Dawid
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Adresse Location:
Letterfrack, (County Galway)

Kylemore Castle is an imposing Irish castle, built near Letterfrack in Connemara… Built in 1868 in an idyllic setting, Kylemore Castle comes straight out of a dream, and was built on the edge of a lake, surrounded by the mountains and the surrounding forest… A truly enchanting building, a must see! A must see in Ireland!

History of Kylemore Castle

Kylemore castle: the romantic gift of a man to his wife

Kylemore Castle - janmennens - cc

Kylemore Castle – janmennens – cc

Built in 1868 by architect John Fuller in a neo-classical style, the castle is a gift from Henri Mitchell, a wealthy Liverpool merchant, for his wife Margaret. The castle cost more than £ 29,000 and took 4 years to build. Thus, in 1872, the entire estate then had:

  • a luxury neo-gothic castle
  • a 3-hectare garden composed of greenhouses and vegetable gardens
  • and a Benedictine abbey

In November 1874, Henry Mitchell and his family went on a trip to Egypt. Unfortunately, his wife Margaret contracted dysentery there and died on December 4th… Mad with grief, Henri Mitchell repatriates her body to Kylemore.

Now a widower, Henri Mitchell decides to change the plans of the abbey, to make it a miniature cathedral, erected in memory of his wife. This cathedral is then called “Gothic Church” or “Kylemore Abbey“. To this architectural marvel is added the construction of a mausoleum very close to the abbey, place where he buries the body of his wife, specifying that he wishes to be buried near her when he dies.

On September 21, 1892, one of Henry Mitchell’s daughters, Geraldine, drowned dramatically during a walk around Kylemore. This new death, as well as financial difficulties, lead Henry Mitchell to sell Kylemore Castle and his estate. Marked by his painful events, he decides to leave Kylemore.

The castle is abandoned, then taken over by Benedictine sisters

The Kylemore Abbey - Felipe Garcia - cc

The Kylemore Abbey – Felipe Garcia – cc

Sold, then abandoned until 1920, the castle of Kylemore is finally taken over by Benedictine Sisters … The latter decide to create a Catholic school there for 180 young girls. Over the years, the establishment has become a particularly renowned school, attracting families from all over Ireland wishing to introduce their children to the excellence of their teaching.

At the same time, the sisters made agreements with the State of Ireland to preserve the site … To better finance restoration and maintenance work, the castle is therefore open to visitors for € 7 per person, allowing the visit of a few rooms of the castle, as well as the exploration of the garden and the abbey…

The sisters also sell to visitors their own homemade cakes, as well as their flowers and other products from their life in Kylemore, to ensure the site’s full sustainability.

Visit Kylemore Castle

A full tour of the castle, it’s gardns and its abbey

Kylemore Castle - © serfeo

Kylemore Castle – © serfeo

The entrance to the castle will allow you to access only 4 rooms on 66 of the building… (The rest is occupied by the Sisters for their private apartments, as well as for the high school for young girls whom they run.) Rest assured, there is nevertheless enough to see not to leave frustrated from the visit! You can therefore admire the following pieces:

  • the entry hall,
  • the dining room,
  • the living room
  • as well as a room where vestiges of the history of Kylemore are exposed.

Each room is decorated with respect for Victorian traditions, and you can admire the beauty of the furniture, their carpets, as well as the vintage tableware, beautifully displayed.

If you enjoyed the visit and want to see more, all you have to do is visit the castle gardens which extend over more than 3 hectares. This garden includes many greenhouses where the sisters cultivate tasty fruits and vegetables … You can also admire the beauty of French gardens, expertly structured by colorful hedges of exceptional flowers.

Do not forget the superb Kylemore Abbey, a beautiful Benedictine abbey, accessible 800 meters from the castle (you can get there by a small shuttle connecting the gardens to the castle and to the abbey). And why deprive yourself? These visits are included in the entrance ticket!

Kylemore Castle
Practical information

Address Address:
Kylemore Abbey, Pollacappul, Connemara

Coordonnées GPSGPS:
53.561819, -9.889340

Duration of the visit Duration of the visit:

Web siteWeb site:
Access to the website
PricesPrices :


Opening hoursOpening hours:

daily, from November to mid-March from 9.20 a.m. to 5 p.m., and from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. for the rest of the year

Kylemore Castle : the map

So much more to discover...