Set in what must be one of the most heart-stoppingly beautiful locations in the world, Muckross House must be an Estate Agents wet-dream. The house was built in 1843 for Henry Arthur Herbert and his wife, the watercolourist Mary Balfour Herbert.
In 1911 it was bought by its then tenant William Bowers Bourn, owner of the Empire Gold Mine and Spring Valley Water Company of Northern California, as a wedding present for his daughter Maud and her Anglo-Irish husband Arthur Rose Vincent. During the period between 1911 and 1932, the couple spent over £110,000 on improvements to the Estate.
Mrs Bourne-Vincent died in 1929 and her husband presented the house and grounds to the fledgling Irish Free State shortly thereafter. The house as you see it today is pretty much as they left it, and I found it very easy to imagine it as the setting for an Agatha Cristie or P J Woodhouse novel.
For opening times, prices, etc. see the Muckross House, Gardens and Traditional Farms web site.