King House is a magnificently restored Georgian mansion located in Boyle, Co. Roscommon. Built in 1730 as the seat of the King family, a powerful landowning dynasty, the house later became a military barracks and recruiting depot for the famous Irish regiment of the British army, the Connaught Rangers.
At the end of the Civil war in 1923, the barracks passed into the control of the newly-formed Irish Free State Army. Following many years as a merchant’s store, King House was saved from demolition in the late 1980s and restored to its former Georgian style by Roscommon County Council.
The house is now open to the public as a museum bringing its history to life. Home to the Connaught Rangers museum as well as the Boyle Civic Art Collection, the house also plays host to musical, dramatic and cultural events.
Former President McAleese kindly donated State gifts from her time as President of Ireland to the nation through the Office of Public Works, for the enjoyment of the people of Ireland. Roscommon County Council is delighted to present an exhibition of these State gifts in King House. The exhibition, which is free, contains exciting pieces of art and artefacts from all over the world, including the Middle East, Asia, Europe and various counties, organisations and associations in Ireland.
The Main Salon, arguably the house’s most elegant room, once playing host to soirées and other social occasions, now serves as a dedicated area for artistic and cultural performances. The grand scale of the Long Gallery and Main Salon with their impressive tripartite windows, ornate fireplaces and high vaulted ceilings portray the impression that King House was built as a symbol of status and power.
Witness the splendor of how the King family lived in our period rooms and see how this magnificent house was constructed. Hear the tales of the Georgian stonemason as he reveals how he worked with stone, as well as the modern carpenter charged with restoring the house. Learn of the fire at the King family’s nearby estate, Rockingham, which severed the family’s 350-year link with the Boyle area.
A visit to King House is a walk through almost 300 years of history. The life-sized historical figures, interactive displays and activities bring the past to life. Enjoy the magnificent period rooms, listen to the story of ‘Jingling Johnny’, write with a quill and ink or visit the cold, damp jail cells in the basement.
Unique architectural elements feature throughout this once grand home. Many of the principal rooms have highly decorated cornicing and now offer a tantalizing glimpse of life in the ‘Big House’. Vaulted ceilings and intricate pieces of stone work abound. The original floor tiles remain in the Long Gallery – these well-worn stones tell a story of their own! Be transported back in time in the dining room; the table is set as the King family prepare to entertain guests.
Due to the many fires suffered by the King family the designer of King House remains a mystery. It may have been designed by Edward Lovett Pearce or, perhaps, by his assistant William Halfpenny, widely respected architects of the time. It is built symmetrically on 4 floors in a U-shape but it is almost certain it would have been rectangular upon completion of the grand entrance. Evidence (such as sealed doorways) exists that the house was intended to be expanded at a later stage, though this never took place. The big blue door you entered would at one time have been the rear entrance (used by servants).
Open April to September
April to September: Tuesday to Saturday: 11:00–17:00
(Sunday in June, July & August)
King House Tea Rooms Café and Úna Bhán Tourism Centre:
April to September: Monday to Saturday 08:00–17:00
(Sunday in June, July & August)
Every Saturday: 10:00–14:00
Last admission: 1 hour before closing time.
Visit duration: approx. 1 to 1.5 hours
Closed: Closed during the Christmas period, check their website for details. Closed Mondays (except Bank Holiday Mondays).
Admission Prices 2018
King House Guided Tour:
Senior (aged 65+): €3.00
Students (with valid ID): €3.00
LANGUAGES: Guide tours are provided in English. Free information leaflets available in English, German, French, Italian, Spanish and Irish. Audio guides available in English and Irish.
DINING / REFRESHMENTS: King House Tea Rooms, on the grounds of King House, offers breakfast and lunch all cooked to order. The also offer teas, coffee and a delicious selection of cakes and desserts made on the premises. The tearooms seating up to 45 people inside and a further 20 outside with full table service. They can cater for both group and coach tours with prior booking, and a full menu is available.
SHOPPING: Úna Bhán Traditional Craft Shop in the grounds of King House sells a range of crafts and gifts, including locally produced arts & crafts, artisan products, local interest books and maps.
PARKING: Free car parking onsite and nearby. Free on-street coach parking available adjacent to King House.
ACCESSIBILITY: King House is wheelchair accessible with accessible toilet.
GROUPS: Group rates available (minimum 10 people). Pre-booking required.
King House is conveniently located in the town centre of Boyle, Co Roscommon. It is 1 kilometre from the N4 Dublin to Sligo Road and 15 kilometres from N5 Dublin to Westport Road. The N61 links Boyle to Roscommon Town and Athlone
Military Road, Boyle, Co. Roscommon, Ireland
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