Our tour of Ireland continues, month by month. In February we travelled to Co. Donegal and this month, we travelled to Co. Mayo. I won’t blame you, if like me you immediately envision a bottle of Helmans Mayonnaise upon hearing the name of the county.
Anyway, Newport was our destination, a small town located on the west coast of Ireland, the ancestral home of the late Grace Kelly. There are accounts of Grace visiting Newport and wandering the streets, conversing with the locals. She purchased the home her grandfather had resided in, with the intention of turning it into a holiday home. Sadly, she died a few years later and the house was forgotten about, falling into disrepair.
Now we can’t have a holiday without visiting a stately home. This time, we visited the beautiful Westport House, located in the town of Westport.
This beautiful stately home was built in 1650, on the foundations of one of the many castle’s that the pirate queen of Connacht, Grace O’Malley owned. Colonel John Browne and his wife Maud Burke, Grace O’Malley’s great-great-granddaughter were the first residents of this magnificent house.
Sadly the house having been the ancestral home for the Browne family for several hundred years was sold in January to a local family. The new owners have plans to invest 50 million euro in the property which can only have a positive outcome.
There are over thirty rooms in total, that you can see into in the house but my favourite room was definitely the ladies parlour.
When we visited, the morning sun poured in through the window, bathing the room in a warm and inviting light. The choice of floral fabrics and carpets, gave the room a very feminine look.
This was the room the women would entertain visitors in and also where the lady of the house would meet with the servants, to plan the day to day running of her home.
Now, on to the next part of my title. On our way to and from Co. Mayo, we passed through the county of Sligo. While on the N16, passing some pretty spectacular and breath taking scenery. In the Glencar area, we came across this amazing phenomenon of a triquetra in the middle of a forest.
When I came back, I decided to do a bit of research on the area and discovered that the spectacular view was a private venture planted in the mid ’80s by the McCabe Family. They planted the whole hill known as ‘Tormór’ which included the Celtic design of the triquetra / Trinity Knot with Japanese Larch on Sitka Spruce.
Amazing, don’t you think!
Until the next leg of our Journey (Co. Kildare in April).