Designed by the famous architects Richard Cassels and James Wyatt in the 18th century. Westport House is located west of the Shannon and is one of Irelands most historic homes open to the public.
Westport House enjoys a superb parkland setting with lake, terraces, wonderful gardens and magnificent views overlooking Clew Bay, the Atlantic Ocean, Achill, Clare Island and Ireland's holy mountain Croagh Patrick. It was built and is still privately owned by the Browne family who are direct descendants of the 16th century Pirate Queen, Grace O'Malley. Lord and Lady Altamount and their family are in residence.
During the 16th century Grace O'Malley or Granuaile was a famous Pirate and Queen of Connaught. After her death a report stated that for forty years she was the stay of all rebellions in the West. She was chief of the O'Malley Clan and ruled the seas around Mayo. Grace O'Malley had several castles in the West of Ireland and it was on the foundations of one of these that Westport House was actually built. There is still an area of her original Castle in the basement of the House (now known as the Dungeons) which is on view to the visitors.A bronze statue of Grace O'Malley by artist Michael Cooper is situated on the Westport House grounds.
The original house was built by Colonel John Browne, a Jacobite, who was at the siege of Limerick, and his wife Maud Bourke. Maud Bourke was Grace O'Malley's great-granddaughter. The House then had no lake or damn and the tide rose and fell against the wall.
As well as the magnificent Historical and Cultural aspects Westport House and Country Park has to offer, there is also a wide range of other fun attractions and facilities (suitable for a variety of age groups) available to the day visitor. These include: Childrens play area, Swan Pedaloes, Log Flume, Train Ride Jungle World, Pitch and Putt, childrens karting, zorbing, archery, laser clay pigeon shooting, zip-wire and much more.
The newest attraction on the grounds of Westport House is The Westport Festival of Music and Food which occurs at the end of June each year. It is an eclectic mix of music performed by national and international musicians presented at a family friendly venue. For extra information contact the Westport House website.