From the moment you step into the Front Hall with its breath-taking barrel vaulted ceiling and soft, rose coloured hues, the magnitude of the homes historical and architectural significance becomes clear.The majestic Sicilian marble staircase, made by Italian workmen and imported specially for Westport House by George (3rd Marquess of Sligo) in 1858 beholds the mythological Angel of Welcome centrepiece, where family tradition was to shake the angels hand upon returning from trips or visiting.
Waterford cut glass chandeliers, marble open fireplaces, bog oak furnishings and an exquisite hand painted 19th century ceiling featuring soft, wispy clouds in a periwinkle blue sky are just some of the lavish interiors on display. The intriguing Chinese Room on the first floor features a delicately hand painted wallpaper known as the Willow Pattern Story, depicting the tragic love story of a young Chinese maiden in one large, continuous painting.
Explore Westport house a little further to uncover even more of the fascinating relics of more than 300 years of Irish history including the 1850s stained glass doors in the south corridor depicting the family crest, a bog oak bowl with a silver filigree lid resting on a silver potato ring (unique to the West of Ireland) in the small dining room, and a magnificent collection of family portraits and local landscapes by artists such as James Arthur OConnor, Chalon, Barret, Gibson, Opie, Brooks and Lavery.
The grounds surrounding Westport House are an eclectic fusion of natural wonders, architectural grandeur and fascinating antiquities. The vast expanse of Clew Bay, the Atlantic Ocean and Irelands holy mountain Croagh patrick in the distance provide an idyllic backdrop to the Estates tumbling waterfalls, terraces, promenades and lofty ancient oaks. Whispers of the past are evident at each turn from the large soup pots used to feed the hungry during the Great Famine, a Spanish Armada cannon and the 3000 year old Greek sarcophagus brought back from Howe Peters excavations at Mycenae in Greece. Proud and graceful, a bronze casting of Grace OMalley is a highlight amongst the grounds features, one of only two likenesses of the great Pirate Queen.