The Midlands Travel Guide

The Midlands Sights

Strokestown Park House & Irish National Famine Museum

Published 01/20/2010

Fodor's Review

The highlight of a trip to Strokestown in County Roscommon is the Irish National Famine Museum in the stable yard of Strokestown Park House. The museum tells the story of the devastating Irish potato blight in the 1840s, which is now regarded as one of the greatest social disasters in 19th-century Europe. Two million people—about a quarter of the population of Ireland—either died or emigrated and their harrowing story is well worth exploring. Museum exhibits include original famine documents found during the restoration of the house; it's a remarkable contrast to the opulent surroundings of the Georgian Palladian mansion and its 6 acres of restored garden, which includes a fernery, rose garden, and lily pond representative of horticultural practices and garden architecture from the 1740s. The Strokestown Park House landlord, Major Denis Mahon, was assassinated in November 1847 at the height of the famine. A poignant glass memorial wall bears the names of 1,492 tenants from the estate who boarded famine ships to Quebec. Almost half died on their way to Canada. Guided tours of the house are held three times daily in the main tourist season, and once in winter. It is not possible to tour the house on your own–-all visitors must join a guided tour.

Sight Information

Address:

Strokestown, Co. Roscommon, Ireland

Phone:

071-963–3013

Sight Details:

  • House, museum, and gardens from €10

Published 01/20/2010

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