Exploring Muckross House


via Wikipedia Commons

Muckross House

Amid the lavish greens and scenery of Killarney National Park, located in Kerry, Ireland, lies Muckross House. Famed worldwide for its reverence and authenticity, this 19th-century Victorian mansion attracts thousands of visitors each year and is sprawling with awestruck tourists eager to explore the rich and cultural history of Ireland. It resides near the shores of Muckross Lake, one of the park’s 3 lakes. Not only does it encapsulate Ireland’s history at its finest, but it also captures the essence of beauty with its house, gardens, and traditional farms.

Muckross House was constructed for Henry Arther Herbert and his wife, Mary Balfour Herbert, in the 17th century. The man in charge of the design was William Burn, a famous Scottish architect, and the building finally finished construction in 1843. It had originally been planned to be much more extravagant and bigger in size, complete with a larger servant’s wing, stable block, orangery, and summer-house, but was changed. Currently, the mansion has 65 elaborate rooms all built in Tudor style, which showcase the exquisite and luxurious lifestyle of the land-owning class of the 19th century. Further construction was made in the 1850s, where extensive garden work took place for Queen Victoria’s later visit in 1861. Unfortunately, in the late 19th century, the property was transferred from one owner to the next, until finally belonging to Maud Bowers Burn. More developments were made on the property in the following 20 years. However, after Maud died in 1929, the estate was presented to the Irish Free State in 1932 and became known as the Bourn-Vincent Memorial Park; it became Ireland’s first national park. There was only one problem: 30 years had passed since Muckross House became State property, and it had been closed all that time! After the Trustees of Muckross House proposed that it be open to the public to the Minister of Finance, it was accepted and has been open to the public ever since.

There are plenty of things to do at Muckross House, whether it be exploring the gardens or glimpsing at the traditional farms. For starters, visitors can enjoy touring the rustic and fabulous Muckross House, where they will be transported back to the 19th century and experience what it was like being wealthy in that time period. Additionally, the Muckross Gardens are also accessible to the public, and they are renowned worldwide for their plant collections, which thrive in mild climates. The Muckross Traditional Farms also features an array of things to do, where visitors can breathe in the air of an Ireland in the 1930s and 1940s. There are three separate farms available to the public: small, medium, and large. They are all decorated in a traditional style and include dressers, settlebeds, and meal bins. In addition to the farms, a Labourer’s Cottage, a Carpenter’s Workshop, a Blacksmith’s Forge, a Schoolhouse, and a small Farm Animal Petting Area are popular sights that tourists like to dwell at. For those who are hungry after a long tiring day exploring the estate, they can feast at the Garden Restaurant, which is a self-serve buffet that also features snacks and an on-site bakery. Finally, the Mucros Craft Shop is the perfect place for visitors to purchase items to remember their wonderful experiences at Muckross House. The shop offers clothing, accessories, glassware, and traditional Irish gifts that are sure to please even the pickiest of shoppers.

While travelers in need of a great destination have a multitude of options to choose from, Muckross House definitely stands out from the rest. Encompassing a profound and rich history and showcasing the elegant lifestyle of the land-owning class in the 19th century, the house also allows visitors to bask in the scenic beauty of Killarney National Park. Furthermore, fairytale-like gardens, homespun traditional gardens, a modern and favorite restaurant, and a colorful and gleaming gift shop are sure to provide the experience of a lifetime.