When you visit Muckross House, its gardens and the traditional farms, (https://www.muckross-house.ie/) you need to take at least a couple of hours to discover everything.
We arrived just after opening hours, so it was still quiet on this particular day.
After having purchased our tickets, we started off with a visit of Muckross House.
Muckross House was built for Henry Arthur Herbert and his wife. Building commenced in 1839 and was completed in 1843. Where it took 4 years to complete the house, it is a reasonable timeframe if you think there are 65 rooms in the house.
Walking through the house, we admired the principal rooms which are furnished in period style portraying the elegant lifestyle of the 19th century landowning class.
From the plethora of mounted trophy heads of deer to the china on display, the house its interior is outstanding. Even nicer are the stunning views of Killarney National Park through the many windows.
The servants wing of the house is extensive, and we can only imagine how many servants must have worked on the estate to
After the house and the gardens, we headed to the traditional farms. We stepped back in time and visited the Ireland of the 1930s and 1940s.
While walking through the fields, we reached the first farm. In the park, you can visit three seperate working farms (small, medium and large), each of them complete with animals, poultry and machinery. Within each of the farms was somebody available to explain what life was like working the land, cooking above an open fire,...Those long gone days were filled with a walk to the local well to collect water, growing your own vegetables and minding your animals, ...
Within each of the farms was a beautiful turf fire, above some of them soda break baking away.
In one of the farms, we got to taste the soda bread and homemade butter. Chatting to the farmer's wife, we learned all about life in the countryside, the furniture and living conditions during the 1930s and 1940s
Each of the cottages had a vegetable plot where cabbage, potatoes and radish were growing. Within the farmyard were chickens, pigs, horses,...
Quille's is the largest farm of the three, and it is here that we admired the large Irish wolfhounds, horses and donkeys.
Within Muckross is also a shed where you can pet some of the smaller farm animals,... or enjoy a sheltered picnic in the woodland play area.
Next was the local blacksmith where the fire and sparks shooting out from underneath the blacksmith's hammer where an impressive sight. The blacksmith explained all about his trade as we watched in admiration while he skilfully created a horseshoe.
After the blacksmith, we also visited the local school and tool shed. In the school, we were greeted by the local teacher who explained to us that state-sponsored primary schools were introduced in Ireland in 1831. The schoolhouse was divided in 2 rooms where each teacher would teach several classes within the one classroom.
Another interesting fact was that the students had to bring turf to school so the open fires could be fired up. All by all, we really loved the experience at Muckross House.
About the Author
We are Peter & Dolores De Bie. We love the great outdoors, discovering new parts of the world and writing about our adventures along the Wild Atlantic Way and further afield