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“Definitely Worth a Visit”

Strokestown Park & National Famine Museum
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: Strokestown Park House is a time-capsule of the Ascendancy in decline juxtaposed with The National Famine Museum. A unique visitor attraction comprising a Georgian Palladian mansion which was once the home of the Anglo-Irish Pakenham-Mahon family, The Walled Pleasure gardens and the National Famine Museum. The National Famine Museum was established at Strokestown Park using original documents from the time which were unearthed during the restoration of The House in the 1980's. The occupying landlord at the time, Major Denis Mahon was assassinated in November 1847 at the height of The Great Irish Famine. A tour of The House gives an intimate insight into life in The Big House, upstairs and downstairs. The Irish National Famine Museum tells a different story and highlights the disparities between social classes during a tragic chapter of Irish History. The Walled gardens and Woodlands take you back again to the glorious surroundings of a planned Georgian estate.
Reviewed October 7, 2013

Spend a full day here, strolling the Woodland Park and Gardens. Take a tour of the stately home and definitely visit the Famine Museum which gives a detailed account of that part of our Irish history. Restaurant on-site and a gift shop also. Highly recommended.

1  Thank Sue K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviews (250)
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185 - 189 of 250 reviews

Reviewed September 26, 2013

I attended the Third Annual International Famine Conference in July 2013. The conference was very well organized, and the staff members – especially John and Jackie – could not have been nicer or more efficient. For example, I was astounded that, after meeting each conference participant just once, they remembered the participant's name. For first-time visitors, it's worth knowing that Strokestown Park is made up of a Georgian Palladian-style mansion (a "big house," many of which did not survive to the present day), some of its surviving gardens and woodlands, a museum of the Famine, an archives, a conference center, a gift shop, and a cafe.

The facilities at Strokestown Park are scrupulously clean, and clearly designed with the positive experience of the visitor in mind. I was surprised to see that at least one other reviewer here on Tripadvisor reported such a negative perception of his visit, but I would say this.

When visiting Strokestown, it's important to keep in mind the era during which the big houses were constructed. That world doesn't exist anymore, and it is a Herculean effort to keep one of the big houses operating in today's world. If visitors arrive expecting the splendor portrayed in the television drama "Downton Abbey," they might be disappointed. Strokestown Park Is real place with real expenses, overseen by a dedicated staff and equally dedicated family descendants. For a realistic view of what life at the big house at Strokestown Park was really like, might I recommend the TV3 documentary "The Big House" which, as of this writing in September 2013, is still available in various places online.

Thank AbigailGrainne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 14, 2013 via mobile

Toured together with 3 yanks to give a view of the famine. Expensive for what it was. On leaving noticed that others given the option of seeing the house without seeing the gardens which were very missable. We wernt given that option and would not have taken it. A ripoff. Tour guide looked like he had been dragged out of bed and showed little regard for two elderly ladies... hearing/mobility issues. Not recommended.

1  Thank Aughlin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 12, 2013

I love visiting old houses and have done since I was very little. This was different insofar as we we quickly herded through the rooms with a rather monotone delivery by a young chap. He had a script and he knew that well, but he knew not one thing more. His little additions of 'ridiculous' and 'terrible' were a bit misplaced as surely we all knew that not wishing to see servants was part and parcel of having them. Indeed almost all major houses has some way of servants moving about without being seen in the family halls and corridors.

In addition, there were 2 elderly people who could not move at the same pace as the rest of the group and he simply started talking in the next room, even though they were not there. As he left he turned off the lights, leaving anyone (everyone) in the room without light.

I'd say that if he could be better interested to learn more, I'd have given it a better rating. Maybe he is young but, really, there was much about the house that was obvious but he did not know. Perhaps he could be sent to a couple of other houses and ignite an interest?

The museum was great but strangely laid out. The videos frequent bore no association to the audio, which was confusing. We entered via the shop, which was the wrong way but were offered no way of entering at number 1.

The woodland walk was lovely.

All in all, could be better but still worth supporting.

Thank Wrin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 3, 2013 via mobile

I visited this evening and was delighted with what was on offer. Our guide, Chloe, was absolutely superb. A really worthwhile visit. Kay Looney

Thank kaylooney1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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