Landed Estates
NUI Galway

Henry (Kylemore)

Mitchell Henry was a doctor who was left a large fortune by his father, a Manchester merchant, in 1862. He bought an estate in the parish of Ballynakill, barony of Ballynahinch, county Galway, from the Wilberforces, Grahams and others, including sporting rights. He employed two architects, Ussher Roberts and John F. Fuller, to design Kylemore Abbey for him. It became his home and he initiated extensive agricultural improvements on his estate. He became a supporter of Home Rule and a Member of Parliament for county Galway. In the 1870s he owned over 9000 acres in county Galway. By the turn of the 20th century however he had lost most of his fortune and in 1903 the castle was sold to Mr Zimmerman of Chicago for his daughter, the Duchess of Manchester. In 1920 the Benedictine nuns from Ypres took over the Abbey and have been there ever since running, until recent years, a girls' secondary school and a very successful tourist business.


Name Townland Civil Parish PLU DED Barony County Map Ref
Kylemore Abbey Pollacappul Ballynakill Clifden Cushkillary 30 Ballynahinch Galway OSI Ref: L748 586
OS Sheet: 23
Discovery map: 37

Archival sources

  • Henry Family Papers; Private Possession
  • Kylemore Abbey Manuscript and Kylemore Abbey Books of Sale 1894 and 1902. Kylemore Abbey; Private Possession
  • Papers re legal case Graham v Henry of Kylemore, late 19th century. MS 13,725; National Library of Ireland
  • Copy of confirmation of arms to Mitchell Henry, descendant of Henry of Lancashire and Co Down, 6 Nov 1863. GO MS 109: 23-24; National Library of Ireland
  • Descriptive particulars of Kylemore Castle, Co Galway, c 1900. M3470; National Archives of Ireland
  • Estate Sales Particulars - particulars and plans of Kylemore Castle, not dated. SCO1545; English Heritage National Monuments Record
  • Kylemore Abbey photos & cuttings. 022/052; Irish Architectural Archive
  • Longfield, Kelly & Armstrong, solicitors' collection, includes copy memorial deed of conveyance lands in barony of Ballinahinch, Robert Graham to Charles Richardson, 15 Mar 1859, conveyance of lands of Adrigoole & Barnagh from Richardson to Henry Mitchell, 4 July 1878 & deed re Ballinaboka. Small Accs Index 47, D.14896, D.14943 & D.14982; National Archives of Ireland
  • Longfield, Kelly & Armstrong, solicitors' collection, deeds Graham, Eastwood, Butler, Henry, Smyth, Richardson. Small Accs Index 47, Bundle 12, no 276, 2C.46.115 & Bundle 26, no 418, 2C.47.129; National Archives of Ireland

Contemporary printed sources

Modern printed sources