Muckross House and Gardens is one of the top places to visit in Killarney town in County Kerry. It is located inside the massive Killarney National Park and also serves as its visitor center. It is regarded as one of the leading stately homes in Ireland – a stunning Tudor mansion set amidst spectacular scenery.
Muckross House And Gardens
If you are doing the Ring of Kerry tour (a must when in Ireland!), Muckross House is one of the best places to see when you start at Killarney. You can explore the many rooms that have period furnishings, stroll through the gardens or check out the working farm. More than its stunning features and the surrounding natural beauty, the house also has a rich history.
In 1843 and under the supervision of William Burn, construction of the Muckross House started. It was commissioned by property owner Henry Herbert. The original plan for the house was said to be grander and more ornate, but the designed was scaled down into something more simple. This change was said to be upon the request of Herbert’s wife, Mary.
However, it did not take long after the house was built that the Herberts were obliged to make extensive improvements in the house and gardens. These changes were deemed necessary to.prepare for the visit of Queen Victoria in 1861. This resulted in great financial difficulty on the part of the Herberts that they eventually had to put up the house for sale.
Lord and Lady Ardilaun of the Guinness brewing family purchased the property and they were the ones responsible for the themed parts of the garden. The next owners of Muckross House were the family of Senator Arthur Rose Vincent, who was also into gardening. After the passing of the senator’s wife Maud in 1932, the property was donated to the state. The Muckross Estate is now a much-visited part of Killarney National Park in her memory.
Today, the house is one of Killarney’s best attractions, where visitors can enjoy the huge mansion as well as the lovely gardens and traditional farms. Through a guided tour, visitors can explore the three-story house and its sixty-five rooms. Check out the period furniture from the elegantly furnished rooms occupied by its former owners to the ones used by their household employees in the basement.
Meanwhile, the estate’s gardens may be lovely at any time of the year, but it’s recommended to see it between April and July when its famous Rhododendrons are in full bloom. While here, visitors can also check out the interesting Rock Garden on a natural rock outcrop, the Stream Garden and the Sunken Garden as well as the picturesque arboretum. Apart from the abundant flora, the walled garden has a restaurant, gift shop and craft workshops in skills like bookbinding, pottery, and weaving.
The Muckross House also has three traditional farms where you’ll get to know about the farming methods of the 1930s and 1940s, situated on a 70-acre elevated site. Here, you may even visit the blacksmith’s forge, see a carpenters workshop, as well as a laborer’s cottage — all with period furnishings.
Aside from housing the national park’s visitor center, Muckross House often hosts classical music concerts, poetry readings, and opera events. It is open to visitors via guided tours throughout the year.
Opening Hours for Muckross House and Gardens
Summer: 9 am to 7 pm daily. Winter: 9 am to 5:30 pm daily
For an adult, the admission fee for the house is €9.00 while for the farm is €9.00. For the joint ticket, it is €15 per person.
For group and children admission fee, click here.
Location: Muckross House, Gardens & Traditional Farms, the National Park
Phone: +353 (0) 64 6670144
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