Muckross Estate: The Jewel of Killarney

The Muckross House is a 65-room Victorian mansion that was built in 1843 by the Scottish architect, William Burn, for Henry and Mary Herbert.Unlike the magnificent castles, which changed ownership through  bloodshed, estates were built and bartered by private monies, and in the early 19oo’s Muckross was bought by a wealthy Californian as a wedding gift for his daughter.I have to confess, I felt a slight twinge of envy when I heard about having a dad wealthy enough to give such a gift!  (Isn’t it amazing how alluring riches can be?)However, in 1932 the estate was given as a gift back to Ireland by the family after the dear woman died (now, none of us envy an early death, do we?), and it was largely through this donation that Killarney National Park was founded.We arrived too late to tour the home (which I’d love to do “next” time), and there’s an abbey within a five-minute walk that we couldn’t find 😦 but we weren’t too late to meander through their unbelievably beautiful grounds.They are world famous for their incredible rhododendrons and azaleas,but that’s just the beginning! I can’t begin to describe the beautyand varietyand textureof the estate!There are rock gardens with delicate flowers growing in the cracks.There are lush, open pasturesand cloistered retreats.The gardens are full of exotic plants from around the world, some tropicaland  some bizarre…but all totally amazingand captivating!There seemed to be no end to the possibilities for which way to turn,and endless, intriguing byways!It would be very easy to lose a child if you weren’t careful.Or, in our case…DAD!Has anybody seen Dad?You know, I haven’t seen him in a long time!I haven’t got a clue where he went!Maybe he just wanted to be alone for awhile…Ya, but maybe he’s lost! We’d better go look for him.Oh, here he is! Down by the lake. Whew. (Actually, he was quite happy to have been exploring on his own for an hour, but he wasn’t quite so thrilled when he got separated from us in London…an adventure that comes much later…)Well, we’d better get moving. It’s getting late,and, even though we don’t live in a mansion, we’re going to stay in a castle (the one above). But that’s a story for the next time.“Labor not to be rich: cease from your own wisdom. Will you set your eyes on that which is not? for riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away as an eagle toward heaven” (Proverbs 23:4-5).

10 thoughts on “Muckross Estate: The Jewel of Killarney

  1. Absolutely stunning… The West coast of Canada has a garden which rivals this one – (Butchart Gardens in Victoria) but the setting of the estate and mansion is simply stunning. I can see I will have to plan a trip to this area – a ‘someday’ dream! I love your style – all the photos and the ‘story line’ and the Biblical references – what a lovely read.

    1. Thank you so much! Yes, Butchart Gardens is another of my all-time favorite gardens!! I think the Canadian Pavilion at Epcot is reminiscent of it…on a tiny scale, but it’s a beautiful garden too!

  2. Hi Kathi,
    Another great post. It’s not a castle… but I’d take it!
    More exceptional pictures and cute commentary, I am continually impressed. Did you take all of the photos yourself?
    God Bless,

    1. Thank you! Yes, I took the photos. My husband gave me a wonderful camera for my birthday (actually, I’d been “saving up,” so it was a sort of Christmas/Mother’s Day/birthday present), but truly the weather was wonderful and the places we visited were just breath-taking! I feel like photos only give you a little taste and it’s not possible to convey the full impact of wonder and grandeur…I suppose the way we get little glimpses of heaven but can’t really imagine what it will be like when we get there!

  3. I’ve always said, that if this kind of beauty is what God gives us on Earth, then there are no words to describe what heaven must be like!
    You may have a good camera but you use it with an artist’s touch, your pictures are very high quality, in my opinion. You have a lot of talent.
    Out of curiosity, would you ever consider letting me use one or two of your scenic pictures to go with a future post on my blog? Sometimes it’s hard to find a scenic picture to fit with a poem or a certain post, I’d give you full credit for them of course and link it to your blog. However, if you’d rather I don’t use them I understand completely.
    God Bless,

    1. By all means, and any time! Since God give us “all things richly to enjoy” then shouldn’t we share?! I would be honored if you want to use some of the pictures and would appreciate being credited and linked. Thank you!

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