This nineteenth century Victorian mansion is set against the stunning beauty of Killarney National Park. The house stands close to the shores of Muckross Lake, one of Killarney`s three lakes, famed worldwide for their splendor and beauty. Muckross House is a magnificent Victorian mansion and one of Ireland s leading stately homes. The elegantly furnished rooms portray the lifestyles of the landed gentry, while downstairs in the basement one can experience the working conditions of the servants employed in the House. The Gardens at Muckross House are renowned world-wide for their beauty. In particular they are noted for their fine collections of azaleas and rhododendrons, an extensive water garden, and an outstanding rock garden hewn out of natural limestone. Muckross House is also home to a number of skilled craft workers who can be viewed using traditional skills in the crafts of weaving, bookbinding and pottery in the adjacent walled garden center.

Originally it was intended that Muckross House should be a larger, more ornate, structure. The plans for a bigger servants` wing, stable block, orangery and summer-house, are believed to have been altered at Mary`s request. Today the principal rooms are furnished in period style and portray the elegant lifestyle of the nineteenth century landowning class. In the basement, one can imagine the busy bustle of the servants as they went about their daily chores.

The house is open to the public, an entrance fee applies. Entrance to the gardens is free.

Location: 4 miles from Killarney on N71 (Kenmare Road).

Muckross Weaving
Visitors to Muckross House can still see spinning and weaving carried out the traditional way, in our craft workshop. From small beginnings, Mucros Weavers have grown to supply over one hundred shops worldwide, in countries such as the USA, Canada, France, Germany and Japan. For over thirty years Mucros Weavers have produced quality woven accessories, under the expert eye of master weaver John Cahill. The colorful scarves, stoles, capes and rugs, are made from materials such as wool, mohair and alpaca. Our headwear and bag collection add elegance and style to any outfit.

Regarded by many as the focal point of the National Park, Muckross House enjoys a majestic location looking out onto Muckross Lake. The house was designed by William Burns, a Scottish architect for Henry Arthur Herbert and his wife Mary Balfour. With a total of some sixty-five rooms, it was built in Tudor style and typified the elegant lifestyle of the 19th century land owning class. Muckross house itself was built over a period of years from 1839 to 1843 but further work was carried out during the 1850`s in preparation for Queen Victoria`s visit. It is said that these improvements for the Queen`s visit were a contributory factor to the financial difficulties suffered by the Herbert family which resulted in the sale of the estate. At the time the building is reported to have cost some £30,000.

The Herbert family sold Muckross house in 1899 to Lord Ardilaun of the Guinness family who in turn sold it on to the Bowers Bourn family of California in 1910. They presented it as a wedding present to their daughter Maud and her husband Arthur Vincent, it became their home between 1911 and 1932 and over £110,000 was lavished on improvements to the Estate. In 1915 the Sunken Garden, designed by Wallace and Co. of Colchester, was laid out. The Rock Garden was developed on a natural outcrop of Carboniferous limestone and the Stream Garden was also landscaped. Maud Vincent died of pneumonia in New York in February 1929 on her way to visit her parents in California. Her husband and children continued to live at Muckross for a further three years until 1932. In 1932 Mr Vincent with his parents-in-law, donated the house and gardens to the Irish nation.

The Bourn Vincent Memorial Park Bill was put before Dáil Éireann (Irish Parliament) on December 7th 1932 and it took effect on December 31st. Under this Act, the Commissioners of Public Works were required to `maintain and manage the Park as a National Park for the purpose of the recreation and enjoyment of the public`.