The Delvin Historical Society’s visit to Strokestown Park House on Sunday the 19th June 2011 was our most successful to-date. After leaving Delvin at 10.30am on a sunny morning we arrived at Strokestown at 12.15pm where lovely tea and scones were waiting for us and was enjoyed by all in the lovely Courtyard Restaurant.
After our thirst was quenched our tour guide for the afternoon – Ciaran, led the group into the Georgian Palladium 1840 home which was the residence of the “Pakenham-Mahon” family until 1979 and was the original site of the 16th century castle home of the “O’Connor Roe Gaelic Chieftains”.
The landlord Major Denis Mahon was assassinated in November 1847 at the height of the famine in Ireland and it is fitting that the “Irish Famine Museum” was established in Strokestown House.
Ciaran our guide led us through the various rooms which had most of the original fittings and furniture on-show and one of the most interesting was the children’s playroom with held all of the past toys, dolls, prams, bikes etc. which created a nostalgic feeling amount the group. The marvellous kitchen was something to behold with the upper gallery-walkway for the lady of the house to give orders to the kitchen staff without ever having to set foot in the kitchen herself.
We then proceeded to the “Famine Museum” where an extensive selection of original documents detailing the emigration, starvation and conditions that the people had to endure during the famine years. In contrast to our recession today a comparison would not do justice to the misery and degradation during those terrible times.
We then proceeded to the wall gardens of 6 acres where many exotic plants specimens can be seen. At 3.30pm our lunch was served in the Courtyard Restaurant and we were not disappointed as we all tucked into either, Chicken, Lasagne, Salmon and the various trimmings etc. To reduce a few calories some of the groups then took a walk through the recently opened “Woodland Walk” and we then returned to the bus where Hubert our driver was waiting for us.
Maura Drum and Bernie Maguire started a sing-song on the bus and we arrived back in Delvin @ 6.45pm. Weather was lovely, the visit was excellent, the service first class, our driver full of patience, our group full of cheer and our day without a tear.
Submitted by The Delvin Historical Society