Muckross House and Gardens

Discover Muckross House and Gardens in the Killarney National Park

Muckcross House and Gardens

Muckross House is the centrepiece of the wonderful Killarney National Park. The park is a gem within Southwest Ireland, which no visitor should miss. With its amazing scenery, diverse ecology, and Muckross Gardens. 

Built-in 1843, it is an Elizabethan style mansion with high-pointed gables and tall chimneys. Open to the public, it is effectively a museum containing an array of interesting items from yesteryear and is a popular visitor destination. 

Muckcross House and its 11,000-acre estate were donated to the Irish state on the death of Maud Vincent. She had been given the house and its estate by her wealthy father, William Bowers Bourn, owner of a Californian mining company. The gift prompted the establishment of the Killarney National Park and UNESCO Biosphere Reserve status in 1981.

The Centre of Killarney National Park

A brief history of Muckross House

The Herbert family
The Herbert family, who settled in Ireland from Wales, established the Muckross Estate in the 17th century. Built-in 1843, the house is on the eastern shore of Muckross Lake and surrounded by fabulous scenery.  The family became extremely wealthy from the Muckross Peninsular copper mines. Still, by the late 1890s, financial problems necessitated the sale of the house.

The famous Guinness brewing family lead by Lord Ardilaun purchased the estate and brought it back to life

A little over ten years later, the estate was sold to William Bowers Bourn, who gave the estate a wedding to his daughter Maud. She and her husband, Arthur Vincent, carried out considerable works to both house and gardens before her death from Pneumonia in 1929. In her memory, the estate was donated to the Irish state and led to the Killarney National Park formation.

Muckross House Gardens
The formal gardens are a mixture of exotic trees and shrubs, rhododendrons, azaleas, and a magnificent rock garden. The gardens were extensively landscaped in preparation for Queen Victoria's visit in 1861, sweep down to Muckross Lake's shores with many opportunities for leisurely lakeside strolls. 

Highlights near to Muckross

The Lakes
Killarney National Park has three interconnected lakes; the Upper Lake, Lough Leane, which is the largest of the three, and Muckross Lake, the deepest. 

Muckross Abbey, a Franciscan friary founded in 1448 and partially ruined, is still in use. It was once the place for the burial of local chieftains, you may like to visit Killarney House, built-in 1726 as the seat of the Earls of Kenmare. 

Kate Kearneys Cottage
Kate Kearneys Cottage was the home of a lively lady who ran a shebeen, an illegal drinking den. Today it is still a pub and café and the starting point for a delightful pony trap tour. The route heads through the Gap of Dubloe, which passes through a 6-mile mountain pass between Macgillycuddy's Reeks and Purple Mountain, across a lake to Ross Castle before returning to the pub.

Ross Castle
Sitting on the edge of Killarney's lower lake is Ross Castle. The stronghold was built by O'Donoghue Mor 500 years ago. Legend has it that O'Donoghue rises from the lake on a white charger and circles the lake. Ross was one of the last Castles to be captured by Cromwell during the conquest of Ireland and held out until 1652.

Lough Leane
The largest lake Lough Leane means "lake of learning" and is probably a reference to the monastery on Innisfallen Island, a centre of learning in the early middle ages. The scenery around the lake is spectacular.

Ladies' View 
Ladies' view is around 12 miles from Killarney on the road to Kenmare. It's a truly stunning view, perhaps the best known in Killarney National Park. The name was given after Queen Victoria's ladies-in-waiting were so enchanted by it. It is well worth ensuring that you include it in your visit.

Touring and accommodation
Our Classic Ireland tour itinerary includes a day that combines a visit to the Killarney National Park with a Muckross House and Gardens tour. The magnificent scenery ensures that it's a visit you will never forget. The South West of Ireland is, for many, the most beautiful region of the Country. Not only do you have the spectacular Skellig Islands to sail to, but you have Killarney National Park to tour and the sublime Ring of Kerry to drive. Don't forget the lesser-known Dingle peninsula with some of Europe's most dramatic cliff-scapes. Please see our customisable Private Tours of Ireland here

Killarney is the obvious place to stay, and there are plenty of options. We recommend the Killarney Park Hotel, although there are many options. Killarney is a lively little town, a happy place in Killarney National Park.

Victorian Grandeur

Victorian Gem in the Heart of Killarney National Park

  • Private Guided Tours Available
  • Traditional Weavers
  • Muckross Craft Centre
  • Traditional Farm
  • Ross Castle (opposite or above)

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Our UK and EU office based staff will listen to what you want to see and experience.

Whether you are a honeymoon couple, a family or a corporate incentive group, our team’s collective resources will be brought together to build the experience that’s right for you.

We will require your arrival and departure dates, details of your personal preferences and places that you would like to visit as well as the events you would like to experience.

We will then prepare a draft itinerary and send it to you by email for your approval. Once agreed, we will send you a Booking Confirmation with Personalised Itinerary and Information Pack via email.

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Email: [email protected]

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