Kylemore Abbey & Victorian Walled Garden, Connemara, Ireland

Kylemore Abbey is a Benedictine monastery founded in 1920 on the grounds of Kylemore Castle, in Connemara, County Galway, Ireland. The abbey was founded for Benedictine Nuns who fled Belgium in World War I.

Kylemore Castle was built as a private home for the family of Mitchell Henry, a wealthy doctor from London whose family was involved in textile manufacturing in Manchester, England. He moved to Ireland when he and his wife Margaret purchased the land around the Abbey. The construction of the castle began in 1867, and took 4 years to complete.

In 1920, the Irish Benedictine Nuns purchased the Abbey castle and lands after they were forced to flee Ypres, Belgium, during World War I. The nuns continued to offer education to Catholic girls, opening an international boarding school and establishing a day school for girls from the locality.

The Estate includes large walled Victorian Gardens. Since the 1970s these have been open for public tours and nature walks. The Benedictine community has restored the Abbey’s gardens and Cathedral with donations and local artisans in order to be a self-sustaining estate.

Below are some photos made during a visit to the abbey and it’s garden in may 2018. Click on a miniature-photo to enlarge it, then navigate using the arrows left/right of the photo or use the cursor keys on your keyboard.