Earlier Houses: The current house is the fourth on the site.
Built / Designed For: Henry Arthur Herbert
House & Family History: Muckross is a large cut-stone Elizabethan-style house with pointed finials and stepped gables. It was built in the mid-19th century to the designs of William Burn for Col. The Rt. Hon. Henry Arthur Herbert, MP (Herbert's wife was the watercolorist Mary Balfour Herbert). In 1861 Queen Victoria paid a visit to the Herbert family at Muckross. At the turn of the 20th century Major H.A. Herbert sold Muckross to Arthur Guinness, 1st Lord Ardilaun, who, in turn, sold the Estate, just before the Great War, to Bowers Bourne. The Bournes gifted Muckross to their daughter, Mrs. Arthur Vincent. When, in 1932, Mrs. Vincent pre-deceased her parents and husband (Senator Arthur Vincent), they collectively gave the Estate to the Irish nation.
Garden & Outbuildings: During the 1850s the Herberts undertook extensive improvements in the gardens in preparation for Queen Victoria's 1861 visit. After the Bourne-Vincent family purchased the Estate in the early 20th century they continued to enhance the gardens; it was during their ownership that the Stream Garden, Sunken Garden, and Rock Garden were developed. The Park is known today as the Bourne-Vincent Memorial Park and is noted for it trees and shrubs, especially its palms, azaleas, and magnolias. There is also the remains of a ruined medieval friary on the grounds.
John Bernard (J.B.) Burke, published under the title of A Visitation of the Seats and Arms of the Noblemen and Gentlemen of Great Britain and Ireland, among other titles: 2.S. Vol. II, p. 119, 1855.
Title: Guide to Irish Country Houses, A
Author: Bence-Jones, Mark
Year Published: 1988
Reference: pg. 220
Publisher: London: Constable and Company
Book Type: Hardback
Title: Victorian Country House, The
Author: Girouard, Mark
Year Published: 1990
Reference: pgs. 429, 430
Publisher: New Haven: Yale University Press
Book Type: Softback
House Listed: Unknown
Park Listed: Unknown
Past Seat / Home of: Col. The Rt. Hon. Henry Arthur Herbert, MP, 19th century. Arthur Guinness, 1st Lord Ardilaun, early 20th century. Bowers Bourne, early 20th century. Senator and Mrs. Arthur Vincent, early 20th century.
Current Ownership Type: Preservation Organization
Primary Current Ownership Use: Visitor Attraction
Ownership Details: Owned and operated by The Trustees of Muckross House (Killarney) Ltd., a private charity.
House Open to Public: Yes
Historic Houses Member: No