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The Abbey

From Generation to Generation, a wonderful new Visitor Experience opened in 2019 and tells the stories of the many generations of people who have lived, worked, studied and prayed inside Kylemore Abbey’s solid granite walls.  The new Visitor Experience brings these stories to life in stunning fashion with the use of historical photographs, audio-visual presentations, displays of artefacts from the Kylemore archive, historical costumes, and beautifully restored period rooms. New visitors and old friends of Kylemore will be delighted with this fascinating experience which brings the story of Kylemore to life for this generation and many to come.

The Benedictine Story

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Entering the Abbey under a majestic Granite arch your experience begins straight away as hidden audio and a timeline of Kylemore History begins to immerse you in the Kylemore story. Following from there you will enter the Abbey and visit the following rooms:

The Welcome Room: The Welcome Room is situated in the former Kitchen scullery and gives the visitors a brief overview of the full Kylemore story via a beautiful audio-visual display. This room also contains exhibits from the Farm Kitchen including Sr Benedict's butter making table and interesting kitchen artifacts.

The Flight From Ypres: This room is dominated by a moving audio-visual presentation telling the story of the Kylemore Benedictine Community from their origins in Ypres Belgium to their flight from War-torn Europe and their arrival to Kylemore almost 100 years ago in 1920. The room also features a stunning stained glass window and precious artifacts of the Benedictine Order.

Kylemore Today:
This room tells the story of the Benedictine nuns many achievements during their 100 years at Kylemore. Meet the pupils of Kylemore Abbey Girl's School and learn about the life of the nuns today and their hopes and plans for the future.

Visiting the Abbey

In your Connemara holidays, visit Kylemore Abbey
Your Visit to Kylemore Abbey will take you on a self-guided tour of the ground floor of the Abbey (castle) building, taking in the “From Generation to Generation” Visitor Experience, incorporating modern interpretation along with restored period rooms on the ground floor of the Abbey.

Let our guides offer insights, answer questions and bring the story of Kylemore to life with the story of the Abbey’s beginnings in the 1860s as a romantic gift to becoming home to the Benedictine Community in 1920. History talks (link to the talks page) which talk place throughout the day will give you added insights into fascinating history and local knowledge and lore surrounding Kylemore.

To limit contact and to help save the trees, we ask all our visitors to download their brochure before arriving at this link (insert brochure link). Our brochure will help you plan your perfect day in Kylemore with a snapshot of its history and helpful maps to guide you around the 1,000 acre estate.

The Abbey is partially accessible for wheelchair users and has accessible toilet facilities. Please see our Accessibility page (link) for full accessibility details across the estate.

The upstairs of the building is not open to the public as it is in use by the Benedictine Nuns who are in residence on the Kylemore estate.

From the Library to the Drawing Room

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Visit the restored rooms of the Abbey to step back in time and learn about the lives of those who lived, worked, and prayed in this beautiful building.

Mitchell Henry’s Library and Study: Meet Mitchell Henry and his wife Margaret and learn about their life and times at Kylemore Castle. Speaking portraits and hidden audio and visual effects enhance this beautifully redecorated period room.

Inner Hall and Saloon Hall: The inner hall contains the grand staircase where light floods in from the imposing leaded windows. Learn about how the Henry Family used their Kylemore estate to enjoy the best of fishing and shooting and other country pursuits.

Drawing Room: The Drawing Room with its fine Italian marble fireplace and hand-stenciled wallpapers has been refurbished to capture the original spirit and ambiance of Victorian-era Kylemore Castle. As you enter the room you will see our only portrait of Margaret Henry and a recreation of one of Margaret’s ball dresses from the 1860s.

From the Morning Room to the Saloon Hall

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Continue from the Drawing Room on into the Morning, Dining, and Ante rooms and the Gallery Saloon Hall where you will meet more of the Henry Family and the enigmatic Duke and Duchess of Manchester.

?Morning Room: The morning room was where the ladies sat to read, sew and entertain their daytime guests. Learn about life in Kylemore Castle and the Henry sons and daughters, their lives and hobbies, trials, and achievements.

Dining Room: The walls here were originally lined with black and gold silks and today you see the table laid as if waiting for its guests to arrive.

Ante Room: The Ante Room leading between the Dining Room and inner halls introduces us to the enigmatic Duke and Duchess of Manchester and to the many fascinating guests who have visited Kylemore over the years.

Gallery Saloon Hall: The Gallery Saloon is where the former residents of Kylemore met for drinks before dinner and today tells us more of the story of the Duke and Duchess.