It's 1852. Successful financier, Mitchell Henry and his new bride, Margaret Vaughan, are on honeymoon in Connemara. The couple is enjoying an al fresco lunch in the townland of Kylemore. As they sit, Margaret comments how beautiful the area is, and how wonderful it would be to live there. Thirteen years later a stunning castle retreat, overlooking a glassy Connemara lake, is contructed.
Luxury is too small a word to describe Kylemore Abbey. In his book Irish Country Houses, Terence Reeves-Smyth talks of the castle as being “on a Citizen Kane scale, boasting many splendid reception rooms including a ballroom with a sprung floor, a magnificent staircase, a library, a study and 33 bedrooms...” For almost 10 years, Mitchell, Margaret and their nine children live here, in what sounds like, from all accounts, a state of bliss.