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 beautiful balustraded terraces that we recognise today.
New in 2018 –
- Soak up the inspiring heritage of Westport House with a brand-new Audio Tour app now available for all visitors. For a much richer experience while you’re here, download our new audio tour app telling the fascinating story of the people behind the house as well as all its architecture, antiques and artefacts. Simply search for “Westport House” on Google Play or the App Store to check it out.
- Experience Westport House in a whole new way when you step back in time with a sumptuous Victorian Afternoon Tea in the gorgeous formal Drawing Room – served by your own Victorian maid. Pre-book your group’s visit anytime or drop in on Saturday or Sunday afternoon’s from July 1st to August 30th.
- Enjoy our Pop Up Georgian Dining Experience running Saturday nights from July through to August 25th. Read on for details.
From the moment you step into the Front Hall with its breath-taking barrel vaulted ceiling and soft, rose red 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Locate us on the map here.
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.
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.
|Jan 2019||Open daily from January 1st to 6th from 10:00am to 4:00pm.
Closed for the rest of the month.
|Feb 2019||Open weekends from 10:00am to 4:00pm|
|Mar 2019||Open daily from 10:00am to 4:00pm.|
|Apr 2019||Open daily in April from 10:00am to 4:00pm except for Easter midterm break.
Extended hours for Easter Midterm Break: April 12th- 26th from 10:00am to 6:00pm.
|May 2019||Open daily from 10:00am – 4:00pm.
Extended hours: May 3rd - 5th from 10:00am to 6:00pm for May Bank Holiday weekend.
|June 2019||Open daily in June from 10:00am - 6:00pm.|
|July 2019||Open daily from 10:00am – 6:00pm.|
|Aug 2019||Open daily from 10:00am – 6:00pm.|
|Sept 2019||Open daily from 10:00am to 4:00pm|
|Oct 2019||Open daily in October from 10:00am - 4:00pm.
Extended Hours: For mid-term break and our Halloween Fest Event, open daily from October 26th to October 31st from 10:00am to 6:00pm.
|Nov 2019||Westport House is open from November 1st to 3rd from 10:00am to 4:00pm.
Open for remaining weekends in November from 10:00am to 4:00pm.
On November 28th and 29th, we are open from 10:00am to 6:00pm and decorated for Christmas time for our Winter Wonderland event. Viewing of house per normal.
|Dec 2019||Westport House is open at weekends for Winter Wonderland and general visitors. Please visit our Event calendar for details.
We re-open after Christmas from December 27th to January 9th 2020 from 10:00am to 4:00pm.
|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|