2012 Award Winners COUNTRY HOUSE OF THE YEAR 2012
Clonalis House - Castlerea, Co Roscommon
It’s great that we have a Taoiseach from the North-West, it really raises the profile of a fantastic part of the country that – except for a few key destinations, such as Westport – tend to be underrated. It’s always been a favourite area of ours, though, and deserves to be ‘discovered’.
Think about this for starters… imagine waking up in a four-poster bed in a fabulous 45-room Victorian Italianate mansion that stands on the land that has been the home of the O’Conors, Kings of Connacht, for 1,500 years...wander down for breakfast and then explore the house – there’s even a small museum, and amazing heirlooms include a copy of the last Brehon Law judgment (handed down about 1580), and Carolan’s Harp.
In the evening, after a good home cooked dinner, you can chat over a nightcap beside a log fire in the cosy book-lined library, before heading back up to one of those beautiful bedrooms.
Despite the grandeur, anybody can all do this at Clonalis House, where the warmly hospitable owners, Pyers and Marguerite O’Conor-Nash make sure there’s a homely atmosphere to welcome every guest – Clonalis House is the Irish country house at its best, well placed for exploring the West - and handy to Ireland West Airport at Knock, too. Magic.
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