Kylemore Abbey was originally built as a private residence for Mitchell and Margaret Henry between 1867 – 1871. They had come to this area from England on their honeymoon and were enchanted by the beauty of the landscape. It was the couple’s wish someday to own a home there and it is said that during those visits, the Henry’s rented Kylemore Lodge, the original building on this site. The Castle was designed by James Franklin Fuller and Ussher Roberts and covered approximately 40,000 square feet, had over 70 rooms including 33 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, 4 sitting rooms, a ballroom, a billard room, a  library, a study, a school room, smoking room, gun room and various offices! The facade measured 142 feet in length and is made of granite brought from Dalkey by sea to Letterfrack and limestone from Ballinasloe. In the mid 1870’s, Mrs. Henry visited Egypt where she contracted a fever and soon died. She was buried at Kylemore and in her honour a Gothic Church was built in the grounds. Not long after in 1902,it was sold to an American business. In 1920 it then was bought by a community of Benedictine Nuns. They had lived in Ypres in Belgium for about 250 years, but fled at the start of WW1. They made Kylemore Castle their new home, changing it to Kylemore Abbey and founded a girl’s school here which they still run.

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