Friday, 16 October 2009

More Ireland





Above two photos are of Kylemore Abbey, built in the 1860s by a rich Irishman who made his money in England and came home to buy thousands of acres of land in Connemara. The extensive formal walled gardens, a mile from the house, are being restored and are much visited by tourists. Since 1920 the Abbey has been occupied by Benedictine nuns who moved here from Ypres (click for their history). They stay completely apart from the public but one is allowed to visit the main rooms of the castle and read about its past inhabitants.
The Abbey currently houses a boarding school but this will close in 2010. "Kylemore Abbey has always been a Catholic girls' school with a whiff of exclusivity about it - not least because of its fairytale setting, which surpasses anything Enid Blyton could have dreamed up." There's more about the school in the second half of this long article. The nuns will stay on, the Abbess has announced.
During our visit we didn't see or hear any children, but then the castle is enormous. I should have thought the place was too isolated for the modern girl, however exclusive.

On a different tack entirely, here's the 50 Most Annoying Things about the Internet.

5 comments:

Rattling On said...

Thank you for the complimentary comment...your photos are not half bad as well!!

The word verification for this comment is 'latins'. Appropriate for your post.

Debs said...

Magnificent photos.

I've just read up about the Abbesses on the link, what incredible women, especially Lady Abbess Maura Ostyn who found this place for them when they left Ypres. Fascinating.

Jan Jones said...

Very stunning indeed. And didn't you have fabulous weather for your trip!

Susie Vereker said...

Well, as one Irishman said to me, "'twould be hard to take a bad photo here."
Yes, we were v. lucky with the weather, made all the difference. Apparently it rained the whole of August in Mayo.

cheshire wife said...

Ireland is a beautiful country. We also found it a bit expensive but felt that it was worth the bit extra that we had to pay.