This striking, gothic style manor house made from attractive blue-gray limestone was built in 1837 by Thomas Lefroy, and to this day has remained within the Lefroy family. To visit Carriglas is to experience firsthand the charm of gracious country living in this part of Ireland, as it was in the 19th century. Thomas Lefroy was romantically linked to the author Jane Austen, and many believe that he was the inspiration for the character Mr. Darcy in her novel, Pride and Prejudice. The reason the two never married remains a mystery to this day. Daniel Robertson designed the Carriglas manor house, with its imposing façade that also appears to have come from the pages of a period novel. From May to September, you can take a guided tour, and view the wide assortment of original family pictures and authentic period furnishings. Memorable rooms and features include a formal entrance hall with a stained glass window depicting the Lefroy family coat of arms; a drawing room with an unusual ceiling; a warm and inviting library and dining room; and numerous bedrooms. Outside, the manor features a unique and famous stable yard, designed in the 1790s by James Gandon, the architect who designed the Customs House and the Four Courts in Dublin. The stable yard was originally attached to a house that stood here before Carriglas was built, and is valued as the last example of Gandon’s agricultural designs. Near the stableyard and lush gardens, you’ll find the costume and lace museum, which houses a selection of 18th century apparel, memorabilia and assorted artifacts of the Lefroy family. After your tour, you can enjoy tea in the romantic outdoor tearoom in the gardens, and browse the craft shop.
Carrigglas Manor is located about five kilometres north of Longford Town on the T15/R194, the Ballinalee/Granard Road.