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‘The Doomed Mansion’, 1870-1913: A Photo Exhibit in its Heyday

‘The Doomed Mansion’, 1870-1913: A Photo Exhibit in its Heyday

Margaret O'Regan

Built in 1870 as the seat of the 4th Earl of Kenmare, Valentine Augustus and his wife Gertrude Harriet Thynne Browne this extravagant red brick mansion was situated on ‘Cnoc an Rí’ (Hill of the Kings) in the western part of the demesne. It was designed by the architect George Devey and supervised by WH Lynn and had a marvelous collection of gables, bay windows and chimneys. The elegant designs of the flowerbeds, steeped terraces and gravel paths led to it being one of the most beautiful gardens in Ireland. The cost of the house reached £200,000.00 and caused a lot of financial hardship for the Browne family. Sadly, the house burned twice in 1879 during construction and again in 1913.

Today the house on this site is known as Knockreer House and is the Education Centre for the Killarney National Park….but for locals the remains of the red brick walls will always signify the Killarney Mansion!

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