One of Ireland’s most beautiful historic houses, Croagh Patrick & the Pirate Queen

Westport House was built in 1730 and is considered to be one of Ireland’s most beautiful historic homes. It was designed by the famous architects Richard Cassels and James Wyatt. Cassels, born in German, also designed Carton House, Russborough House, and Leinster House. James Wyatt, who completed the project and laid out the designs for Westport town, is regarded as one of the greatest English architects to have worked in Ireland. It is situated under the mountain of Croagh Patrick in a parkland setting with lakes, terraces and magnificent views overlooking Clew Bay. It was built and is still privately owned by the Browne family, who are direct descendants of the 16th-century Pirate Queen Gráinne O’Malley. Grainne was chief of the O’Malley clan and had several castles around this territory where she ruled. It was on the foundations of one of these castles that Westport House was actually built. Over the years the Browne descendants were very much admired and loved in the locality and have greatly improved Westport town. In 1960, the 10th Marquess opened Westport House and the grounds to the visiting public as a pioneering venture in a place that at the time was remote and depressed. It is now a commercial success and includes a pirate adventure park and a mini railway.