Kylemore Abbey

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Name Kylemore Abbey County Galway Nearest Town Galway Access Road N59 About As you round a bend on the twisting road that leads you out Clifden, you will find yourself gasping at the sight of Kylemore Abbey set into the rocks of Connemara with the Atlantic Ocean as a water feature on the front lawn.

Kylemore Abbey is a Benedictine monastery founded in 1920 on the grounds of Kylemore Castle, in Connemara.

The abbey was founded for Benedictine Nuns who fled Belgium in World War 1.

Originally called Kylemore Castle, it was built between 1863 and 1868 as a private home for the family of Mitchell Henry, a wealthy politician from Manchester who was also MP for Galway County from 1871 to 1885.

He and his wife are both buried in the small mausoleum near the church in the grounds of the abbey.

Notable features of the abbey are the neo-Gothic church (built between 1877 and 1881), a miniature replica of Norwich Cathedral, made from local green Connemara marble, and the Victorian walled garden.

The abbey houses an international secondary girls’ boarding school, Kylemore Abbey International Girls’ School.

The house and gardens are open to the public.

The nuns have decided to close the school in 2010, although they do not plan to sell the property and will continue to reside there.

Do not drive by this wonderful edifice without taking time out to explore the place.

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