Connemara and County Mayo Sights

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Westport House

Westport House Review

The showpiece of the town remains Westport House and Country Park, a stately home built on the site of an earlier castle (believed to have been the home of the 16th-century warrior queen, Grace O'Malley) and most famed for its setting right on the shores of a beautiful lake. The house was begun in 1730 to the designs of Richard Castle, added to in 1778, and completed in 1788 by architect James Wyatt for the Marquess of Sligo of the Browne family. The rectangular, three-story house is furnished with late-Georgian and Victorian pieces. Family portraits by Opie and Reynolds, a huge collection of old Irish silver and old Waterford glass, plus an opulent group of paintings—including The Holy Family by Rubens—are on display. A word of caution: Westport isn't your usual staid country house. The old dungeons now house video games and the grounds have given way to a small amusement park for children and a children's zoo. In fact, the lake is now littered with swan-shaped "pedaloes," boats that may be fun for families but help destroy the perfect Georgian grace of the setting. If these elements don't sound like a draw, arrive early when it's less likely to be busy. The Farmyard area has garden-plant sales, an indoor soft-play area, a gift shop, and a coffee shop.

    Contact Information

  • Address: Off N59, south of Westport, clearly signposted from Octagon, Westport, Co. Mayo
  • Phone: 098/27766
  • Cost: House €12, attractions €20, family day ticket for house and attractions €59. 10% discount online
  • Hours: House, gardens, and attractions: Mar. and Oct., weekends 10–4; Apr., May, June, and Sept., daily 10–6; July and Aug., daily 10–7
  • Website:
  • Location: Westport
Updated: 04-10-2013

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