A short ride from The Gleneagle Hotel in Killarney is Muckross House. The House, Gardens, and Farm is a 19th Century Victorian mansion sits adjacent to Muckross Lake situated in the middle of the three Lakes of Killarney. The tranquil lakeside setting explains why the location was chosen for the stately home.
Built by the Herbert family soon after their arrival from Wales in 1665 the house was constructed with the wealth they accumulated from mining. By 1770, they owned the land around Muckross. The present house was built for Henry Arthur Herbert and his wife Mary in 1843. The Great Irish famine occurred began in 1845 and the family left for England but continued to maintain their tenants on the land.
In 1861, Killarney and Muckross House hosted a royal visit by Queen Victoria. It is believed that the improvements invested in the house by the Herbert’s for the Queen’s visit, may have cost the Herbert’s their home. By 1889, the estate was forfeited.
The estate was purchased by Arthur Ross Vincent and his wife, Maud in 1910 and they made many improvements to the house and gardens. After Maud’s death in 1932, Arthur presented Muckross House to the people of Ireland. The house was vacant until 1964 when it was opened to the public.
The home has been held in the condition as it was in 1932. Visitors can tour the house for a small fee of nine euros. It is ornately decorated as the period would dictate. The gardens and farm are large and provide a glimpse back to old Ireland.
Adjacent to Muckross House in Killarney National Park, Ireland’s oldest national park. The only way to tour the grounds and park is in horse-drawn jaunting carts.
During your ride, the driver will provide you with tidbits about your surroundings.
A short hike up the hill from the drop off site will bring you to the striking Torc waterfall.
Muckross House is a look back at Ireland in a different age. It is thought-provoking and beautiful location to spend a day out in Killarney.