Strokestown Park House

This remarkable house, a fine mansion built in the 1730s, was home for many years to the Pakenham-Mahon family. The last of the family to live there, Olive Pakenham-Mayo, stayed on until 1982. Thanks to the generosity of the Westward Garage group, the house and estate have been preserved. The interior of the house has been kept just as it was, so the drawing-room, dining-room, study and smoking-room, are authentically furnished. Upstairs, the bedrooms include a nursery once used by the children of the house, complete with teddy bears. The great kitchen, in a wing off the main house, has also been perfectly preserved, together with its spits and ovens; it now houses a restaurant. The outbuildings in the three stable yards have been converted into a famine museum, which tells the heartbreaking story of the famine in this area of Ireland in modern audio-visual form. There is also documentation from the period.

Also in Strokestown, at the other end of the main street, one of the widest in Europe, is St. John's Heritage Centre, housed in a converted early 19th century church. It has genealogical records and often stages historical exhibitions.

25km (15 miles) W of Longford on N5.
Strokestown Park House and Famine Museum.
St. John's Heritage Centre: Admission charge.