Strokestown Park House, set on 300 acres of parklands is one of Ireland’s finest and most intact Palladian mansions. It’s centre block was completed in 1696 but was extended around 1730 by the famous architect Richard Cassels who added the wings. The house was further altered in 1819 by J. Lynn. It is also Ireland’s first Famine Museum, which occupies its adjoining stable wing. The museum was opened by President Robinson in May 1994 and now enjoys an international profile, linking the past experience of the Great Irish Famine on the Strokestown estate, with the ongoing spectacle of poverty and hunger in today’s developing world. The development of the Famine Museum at Strokestown Park is one aspect of restoration work being carried out by the Westward Group, a local business consortium, who purchased the property from the Pakenham Mahon family in 1979, subsequently opening the house and gardens to the public. It is now regarded as the finest privately funded restoration project in Ireland. Strokestown Park House faces directly towards the main street of Strokestown which is reputedly one of the widest streets in Ireland.