The neo - Gothic Church at Kylemore Abbey Tourist Attraction

The neo-Gothic Church

Just a five minute walk from the Abbey, along the shores of Lough Pollucapal lies Kylemore’s enchanting neo-Gothic Church. Described as a ‘Cathedral in Miniature’, this fourteenth century style, elegant building is a lasting testament to the love of Mitchell Henry for his wife Margaret. On your visit you may be lucky enough to enjoy one of the many musical performances that take place here throughout the year.
Visit our events page for more details.

Tragic Origins

Gothic Church by candlelight
In 1874, Mitchell Henry and his family holidayed in Egypt – an exotic and popular destination in Victorian times. Sadly, tragedy struck on the River Nile. Margaret contracted dysentery and died sixteen days later. She was beautiful, 45 years old and a mother of nine. “It is not our mistress we have lost, but our mother” said one tenant as the distraught Mitchell had Margaret’s body embalmed and brought back to Connemara so that she could be laid to rest at her beloved Kylemore.

Unable to bear the thought of having her lie in the cold ground of a foreign country. Mitchell immediately set about building a cathedral-in-miniature in memory of his wife Margaret. The beautiful gothic church is a testament of his love for Margaret. Both Mitchell and Margaret are interred together in the Mausoleum tucked away in the woodland close to the neo-Gothic Church.


Gothicchurch 2
Designed by architect James Franklin Fuller, work began on the neo-Gothic Church in 1877 and was completed in 1881. The architecture of this sandstone building is remarkable, it replaces the typical grotesque features of gothic structures such as gargoyles with delicate flower, bird, and angel features. This was one way in which Mitchell honoured his beloved wife with the building. Another way was by including beautiful marble pillars from each of the four marble regions of Ireland, a country Margaret was so enamoured with; green from Connemara, black from Kilkenny, red from Cork and white from Tyrone.

A place of worship

The neo Gothic Church at Kylemore. Just a 5 minute walk from the Abbey, hosting special Masses, music recitals, poetry readings and more events.
Originally, the Gothic Church was a place of Anglican worship. Following the arrival of the Benedictine Nuns to Kylemore, it was re-dedicated as a Catholic Church in 1920. Suffering from neglect, as much of the estate had prior to the Benedictine Nuns arrival, an extensive restoration project was undertaken and completed in 1995 and officially opened by then President of Ireland, Mary Robinson.

Today, as well as hosting special Masses, the neo-Gothic Church is the venue for music recitals, poetry readings, choral performances, and has hosted special events such as Other Voices: Courage.