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Westport House

 This limestone mansion stands at the head of Clew Bay, on the estuary of the Carrowbeg River. It offers panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean, Clare Island, and Croagh Patrick, the Holy Mountain.

Begun in 1730 but not completed until 1778, this limestone structure sits on the site of a former castle of Grace O’Malley, the legendary Pirate Queen. There is also a connection through marriage between the Browne family, owners of the estate, and Grace O’Malley herself.

John Browne, the first Lord of Altamonte, built the mansion and married Maude Burke, Grace O’Malley’s great granddaughter.

The basement contains an area known as the Dungeons, actually a part of the original O’Malley Castle and recently turned into a tourist attraction. A bronze statue of the Pirate Queen also decorates the grounds.

The interior of Westport House contains a treasure trove of period furniture as well as an impressive art collection. There are many family portraits painted by artists such as Reynolds and Opie, and paintings such as The Holy Family, by Rubens. Other artists whose work appears here include O’Connor, Gibson, Carver, Barrett and Brooks.

The house also features an extensive collection of vintage Waterford crystal as well as Irish silver. Three stories of rooms include exquisite furnishings such as tables made from Jamaican mahogany and a collection of rare antique chamber pots.

The grounds of Westport House make it a real tourist attraction. Amusements for families and children include, swan-shaped pedaloes on the lake, a log flume ride, a train ride, an indoor soft play area, and an animal park.

The ‘Old Farmyard’ includes a set of authentic farm buildings, along with a garden supply and plant store and a restaurant. Visitors are also permitted to fish in the lake on the estate.

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