I hope you’re having a lovely weekend and making the most of the sunshine. Yesterday, we popped in to The Northwest Wedding Expo for a browse and made a beeline for the Markree Castle stall. We don’t have a venue booked yet and if we’re getting married in Sligo, Markree Castle is the one we’re most interested in. I’d been dying to see inside since its refurbishment, regardless. Arlene, who looks after the marketing at Markree invited us to view the castle straightaway so we jumped at the chance. Manager Philip showed us all around and Holy Moly it’s incredible.
See for yourselves…
The original stained glass window in the hall was taken down so that the lead could be redone and the the glass coloured again. The impressive ceilings at the entrance and hallway are all redone. I’m not sure if my pictures do the work justice, but you may get a better idea on my Instagram story. It’s really worth a visit.
The castle has its own chapel, but it’s debatable whether or not it’s consecrated. The castle dates back to the 17th century and was gifted to the Copper family by Cromwell. Now, the Corscadden family own it. As you can see work is ongoing. We witnessed the men at work – meticulously carving. The attention to detail is second to none.
You wouldn’t have seen this fireplace before, but it was found in pieces in a shed on the grounds. At first, they didn’t know what it was until they pieced it altogether and discovered that there was 40% missing, so much of this had to be remoulded, sculpted and plastered. The fireplace would have stood here about 60 years ago.
Here’s an example of some of the panels that have been moulded in plaster and painted. Philip spoke so highly of the workmen saying they go back over all their work with a toothpick to ensure each part is perfect.
I always loved this room below. I had lunch here a couple of times – the food was fantastic then and I’ve no doubt it will be even better this March when they host their first wedding of 2017. However, you won’t just be able to pop in for lunch anymore – the castle will be booked out for events, weddings and parties. I love the exclusivity of it. There are 31 rooms (€180 B&B per night) and wedding packages start at €79 per person.
Imagine having this whole venue to yourselves and your guests for a couple of nights!
They actually discovered that one of those pillars had been facing the wrong way around, so they had to refit them. I really like the colour scheme of this room. Pictured here are Julian and Philip… just to give you an idea of the grandeur of this venue.
Below is the dining hall. There are now 4 parts as opposed to 3. The kitchen has been added to the dining area. They have changed the colour scheme slightly from pale sea green to a light grey/brown shade, which is more in keeping with the era. Markree is a Victorian Gothic Revival Castle.
If you’d like to see what it looked like before, check out this photo shoot I styled in the dining hall here.
Expect freestanding baths, enormous chandeliers, magnificent ceilings and spectacular grounds with a resident peacock and wolfhound.
A new addition to Markree is the billiards room and the entire downstairs/dungeon area. It’s a little tongue-in-cheek. This is the Nouveau part of the castle where you will retire after you dine… for a bit of dancing, games (there’ll be games room with Xbox) and late drinks. The bridal suite is also downstairs.
This may not be much to look at, but the fireplace below is the most important piece of architecture and sculpture in the whole castle as it was made by the same man who designed and built the GPO in Dublin.
These are just some pictures I took. There are loads more, but it really is something you should witness first hand. We loved hearing all the history behind it and the refurbishment details. We were sure we wanted to get married abroad… now, we’re not so sure!
I hope you enjoyed this little tour.