Kylemore Abby
Kylemore Abby

Inside the Church

Inside the church

A Little History: What is now Kylemore Abby was originally built as a private residence. In 1920, Kylemore -- "Big Wood" in Gaelic -- was sold to the Irish Benedictine Nuns. The nuns moved their girls' boarding school to Kylemore from Ypres, Belgium, where it was established in 1665.

A Little More History: This neo-gothic church, a "cathedral in miniature," was constructed from 1877-1881. The architect was J. F. Fuller, also the architect of Ashford Castle in County Mayo. The style was that of the cathedrals built in the 13th and 14th centuries. The exterior is gray limestone, the interior is a light caen sandstone, and the interior marble pillars are of the four types of Irish marble: Connemara, Kilkenny, Armagh, and Cork. In 1992, restoration of the church was begun. The restoration was complicated when it was found that the church's main roof is home to the largest Irish colony of Natterer's bats. Restoration is now complete and the bat colony continues to thrive.

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