At Muckross House visit a beautiful aristocratic home, wander through extensive gardens and learn about traditional farming culture. Explore a grand estate with many different perspectives of Ireland’s history.
Scottish architect William Burn was commissioned to design a house for Mr. and Mrs. Herbert, whose family had lived at this place for many generations. The house was completed in 1843 and reveals much about the daily lives of the landowning class at that time. Note the distinction between the elegant family home, ornate and decorated with expensive artworks, and the sparsely furnished servants’ quarters downstairs. Meet craftspeople busy with traditional weaving, pottery and bookbinding in the nearby workshop. Purchase goods with the Mucros label.
Visit Muckross House’s gardens. Admire the collections of rhododendrons and azaleas in the spring. Stroll through the elegant and ornate Sunken Garden, Rock Garden carved from natural limestone and Stream Garden, whose colors reflect the changing seasons.
While at Muckross House, visit the traditional farms on the estate where men and women still use methods developed before electricity. The three farms, small, medium and large, have farmhouses with traditional furnishings. On-site find the Labourer’s Cottage, Carpenter’s Workshop and Blacksmith’s Forge.
Take the children to meet cute farm animals at the Farm Animal Petting Area or enjoy the rides and swings at the Woodland Play Area. Look for the schoolhouse, dating from about 1910, to see how children had their lessons 100 years ago. Enjoy a meal at the Garden Restaurant, which has a view of the beautiful hedges and flowers. All of these sites together make up a fascinating open-air museum dedicated to life in Ireland of the 19th and early 20th centuries.
Find Muckross House near Muckross Lake in Killarney National Park, 4 miles (6 kilometers) from Killarney. The House and Gardens complex is open daily, except during the Christmas season. To enter the Muckross House itself, sign up for a guided tour. The gardens have free entry while the house and farms charge admission. The farms are open from March to October. Check ahead online for specific open hours.