Kylemore Abbey, County Galway, Ireland. The story of Kylemore Abbey begins with a man named Mitchell Henry. Born in Manchester to Irish parents, Mitchell was raised in an afluent household, and he received a stellar education becoming a successful doctor. Upon his father's death in 1862, however, Mitchell left medicine behind to pursue politics and commerce further growing the family fortune. And in 1867, he decided to return to Ireland with his wife and family where they bought the land around the Abbey (they had spent time there in 1840s during their honeymoon). Construction began that same year, and it took a hundred men and four years to finish. The building was completed with over 70 rooms and covered 40,000 sq. ft. Then called Kylemore Castle, the estate was designed with the nicer things in life in mind. It was said that Mitchell was hospitable 'on a lavish and extensive scale'. Supposedly, King Edward VII considered purchasing the estate but decided against it because it was too expensive. Unfortunately for Mitchell, this focus on pleasure began to decline with the death of his wife. Kylemore Castle was eventually sold to the Duke and Duchess of Manchester in 1909. But the Duke it seems had a gambling problem and apparently lost the estate in a game of cards. At any rate, the estate had to be sold to cover his gambling debt, and in 1920, it was bought by the Irish Benedictine Nuns which is when the estate became the Kylemore Abbey. It's a beautiful place, with good food and great views. Take a look if ever you're in County Galway, Ireland.