Westport House is undoubtedly one of Ireland’s best loved heritage attractions – and is rightly called the most beautiful house in Ireland.
With over 30 rooms on show, visitors can immerse themselves in life as far back as the 16th century when Grace O’Malley the Pirate Queen of Connacht ruled the land and seas around the estate. Built upon the foundations of one of her many castles which can still be toured in the dungeons today, the original Westport House was built in 1650 by Colonel John Browne and his wife Maud Burke, Grace O’Malley’s great-great-granddaughter.
Since then it has undergone a number of developments under the direction of the celebrated architects Richard Cassels (of Carton and Leinster House architectural fame), James Wyatt and Thomas Ivory, progressing from a smaller, one room deep residence with a central open court yard to the stately square house complete with balustraded terraces that we recognise today.
From the moment you step into the Front Hall with its breath-taking barrel vaulted ceiling and soft, rose coloured hues, the magnitude of the home’s historical and architectural significance becomes clear.
The majestic Sicilian marble staircase, made by Italian workmen and imported specially for Westport House by George (3rd Marquess of Sligo) in 1858 beholds the mythological Angel of Welcome centrepiece, where family tradition was to shake the angel’s hand upon returning from trips or visiting.
Waterford cut glass chandeliers, marble open fireplaces, bog oak furnishings and an exquisite hand painted 19th century ceiling featuring soft, wispy clouds in a periwinkle blue sky are just some of the lavish interiors on display. The intriguing Chinese Room on the first floor features a delicately hand painted wallpaper known as the Willow Pattern Story, depicting the tragic love story of a young Chinese maiden in one large, continuous painting.
Explore Westport House a little further to uncover even more of the fascinating relics of more than 300 years of Irish history including the 1850’s stained glass doors in the south corridor depicting the family crest, a bog oak bowl with a silver filigree lid resting on a silver potato ‘ring’ (unique to the West of Ireland) in the small dining room, and a magnificent collection of family portraits and local landscapes by artists such as James Arthur O’Connor, Chalon, Barret, Gibson, Opie, Brooks and Lavery.
Currently there are six absorbing exhibitions on display throughout the house including a wax work exhibition of ten notable contributors to Irish literature, music and the arts, and the inspiring story of Howe Peter, 2nd Marquess of Sligo and Governor General of Jamaica who led the emancipation of slaves and had the first ‘free village’ in the world, Sligoville, named in his honour. And our newest exhibition was compiled by the Great Hunger Institute of the University of Quinnipiac in the USA and tells of the family’s significant efforts to alleviate the suffering of their tenants during the Great Famine.
Discover Westport House through guided and self-guided tours, fascinating exhibitions and a range of reading materials available at the entrance hall.
Call Today +353 (0) 98 27766
If you have any questions or wish to know more about all Westport House has to offer, please contact us on +353 (0) 98 27766 or email us at email@example.com
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The grounds surrounding Westport House are an eclectic fusion of natural wonders, architectural grandeur and fascinating antiquities. The vast expanse of Clew Bay, the Atlantic Ocean and Ireland’s holy mountain Croagh Patrick in the distance provide an idyllic backdrop to the Estate’s tumbling waterfalls, terraces, promenades and lofty ancient oaks. Whispers of the past are evident at each turn from the large soup pots used to feed the hungry during the Great Famine, a Spanish Armada cannon and the 3000 year old Greek sarcophagus brought back from Howe Peter’s excavations at Mycenae in Greece. Proud and graceful, a bronze casting of Grace O’Malley is a highlight amongst the grounds’ features, one of only two likenesses of the great Pirate Queen.
Apart from the generous contributions made by the Heritage Council of Ireland in re-roofing the house, it is solely the hard-work, passion and commitment of the Browne family to Westport House and its grounds that successfully preserves and maintains one of Ireland’s most cherished cultural and historical gems for future generations.
Access to Westport House
At this time buggies are not permitted inside Westport House due to the delicate nature of the antique parquet floors. Please park your buggy inside the ante-library and feel free to avail of one of our baby carriers at the entrance hall while you tour the House.
Much to our regret, Westport House is not yet wheel-chair accessible although we are working hard to secure the infrastructure to create this important access.
|Feb||Open daily for mid-term from February 15th to 21st from 10am to 4pm. Kids go FREE!|
|Mar||Open daily March 1st from 10am to 4pm.|
|Apr||Extended hours: April 1st - 3rd from 10:00am to 6:00pm for Easter mid-term break.
From 4th onwards, we are open daily from 10:00am – 4:00pm.
|May||Open daily from 10:00am – 4:00pm.
Extended hours: May 1st and 2nd from 10:00am to 6:00pm for May Bank Holiday weekend.
|June||Open June 4th, 5th and 6th from 10:00am - 6:00pm for June Bank Holiday Weekend.
Rest of month - open Monday to Friday from 10:00am – 4:00pm and Saturday & Sundays from 10:00am -6:00pm.
On June 12th, the Hooley at the House will take place. This is a specially ticketed event and only valid ticket holders will be able to enjoy Westport House.
|July||Open daily from 10:00am – 6:00pm.|
|Aug||Westport House is open daily from 10:00am – 6:00pm.|
|Sept||Westport House is open daily from 10:00am to 4:00pm|
|Oct||Westport House opens daily in October from 10:00am - 4:00pm.
Extended Hours: For mid-term break and our Halloween Fest Event, open daily from October 29th to October 31st from 10:00am to 6:00pm.
|Nov||Westport House is open weekends in November from 10:00am to 4:00pm. On November 26th & 27th, we are open from 10:00am to 6:00pm and decorated for Christmastime for our Winter Wonderland event. Viewing of house per normal.|
|Dec||Westport House is open for at weekends for Winter Wonderland and general visitors and daily from 19th to 24th.
We re-open after Christmas from December 27th to January 1st 2017.
|Buy at Ticket Office||Buy Online (5% discount!)|
|Senior (over 65’s)||€10.00||€9.50|
|Student (with student ID)||€10.00||€9.50|
|Child (2 years and under)||FREE||FREE|