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Photographer's Note

A genuine castle existed on this site until 1720, when it was replaced by a Georgian manor house. The second earl of Dunraven, stricken with gout, spent most of his time indoors, bored. His wife, Lady Caroline Wyndham, an heiress in her own right, suggested that designing a grand new home would give him something to do. He embraced her idea with gusto. For years, local artisans and architects labored to create a palace that would rival the magnificent French chβteaux. Construction not only kept the earl busy, but it also provided work for villagers during the devastating famine that struck Ireland in the mid-19th century.

The earl spared no expense. Throughout the manor are 52 chimneys, 75 ornate fireplaces, 365 leaded-glass windows, and plenty of arches, gargoyles, bays, and window frames elaborately carved in stone. It also holds a 132-foot-long minstrels gallery—the second longest in Europe—“”inspired by the Hall of Mirrors in Versailles, and 17th-century Flemish choir stalls outfitted with doors imported from a confessional box in Vienna.

Though the earl didn’t live to see his dream finished, his son, the third earl of Dunraven, did. The Dunraven family continued to living in the manor until they sold it to an investment consortium in 1982.

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Additional Photos by Fred Byrne (Meglodon) Silver Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 28 W: 0 N: 88] (353)
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