We came across this idyllic scene of an abbey nestled in the surrounding greenery that looked like something out of a painting on our drive across Ireland. Kylemore Castle in County Galway is a Benedictine monastery, home to a community of nuns who came here in 1920 after their abbey was destroyed in World War I. But before it became a monastery, it was the backdrop to an intriguing love story.
The year was 1849, Mitchell Henry and his new bride Margaret visited the wild Connemara on their honeymoon and fell in love with the place. Mitchell promised his wife that he would build their dream home there. The construction of the castle overlooking the lake took thirteen years to complete. The happy couple lived there with their nine children until 1875 when Margaret suddenly passed away from an illness contracted on their holiday in Egypt. She was only 45 at the time. Mitchell brought Margaret’s body back to Kylemore and laid her to rest in a mausoleum built on the abbey’s ground, but he was heartbroken and couldn’t bear to stay in their home any longer. When Mitchell Henry died in 1910, his ashes was brought back to Kylemore to be laid next to his love, in the place where they built their dream home and spent many happy years together.
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