9. Curraghmore House, County Waterford
With its immense size, it’s easy to believe that Curraghmore House is in fact a Norman keep encased in a Victorian mansion. This beautiful house has been home to the Marquises of Waterford for the past 800 years. Among the treasures of this 2,500 acre estate, you’ll find an ancient bridge, formal gardens and a charming Shell House. Built by Countess Catherine of Tyrone (the only woman to inherit Curraghmore), this enchanting folly took 261 days to decorate, and features hundreds of sea shells from across the world, brought to her by captains on great voyages. Many of the Marquises have died in sudden circumstances, from shooting accidents, drowning and even lion attacks. Could this be the curse that’s said to have been cast on the family centuries ago? Who knows? The 9th Marquis now resides here in this County Waterford gem, and welcomes visitors for tours and to absorb the long history of its chequered past.