Welcome to King House
Welcome to King House
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 and is a central locale for the ever-popular Boyle Arts Festival.
A visit to King House is a walk through almost 300 years of history. Our life-sized historical figures, interactive displays and activities bring the past to life. Enjoy our magnificent period rooms, listen to the story of ‘Jingling Johnny’, write with a quill and ink or visit our cold, damp jail cells in the basement.
First 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 merchants store, King House was saved from demolition in the late 1980’s 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. It houses the Connaught Rangers Museum and the Boyle Civic Art Collection.
A multi-disciplinary programme of arts events takes place in King House between April and September, including elements of the Boyle Arts Festival.
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.
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 splendour 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.
Based in our courtyard, Úna Bhán Tourism Co-operative runs a traditional craft shop showcasing locally produced crafts as well as operating an accommodation booking service.
Úna Bhán Tourism offers unparalleled local knowledge and a tourism service to help make your trip as enjoyable and fun as possible! Its aim is to make your visit to Boyle an experience you’ll always remember, filled with beauty and discovery. Their dedicated team can help you to find the right holiday to suit your needs. You will be spoilt for choice with the exciting selection of attractions, activities and accommodation there is on offer in Boyle and County Roscommon. Úna Bhán can provide information on both guided and self-guided walking holidays, fishing and angling trips, as well as the many hidden gems Roscommon and Ireland’s West has to offer. Major attractions in the area include Carrowkeel Megalithic Tombs which predate Stonehenge, as well as the popular Lough Key Forest Park, a magnificent family-friendly amenity.
Úna Bhán Tourism Co-operative Society
Telephone: 071 96 63033
Each Saturday from 10am until 2pm, our courtyard comes alive with the Bridgestone award-winning Origin Farmer’s Market. The market provides an excellent range of fresh, wholesome and healthy produce all of which is made locally. Delicious breads, organic juices and home-made jams are on offer plus a whole lot more besides! This weekly event gives shoppers an opportunity to purchase produce made or grown locally, as well to as engage directly with the producers
No visit to King House would be complete without stopping by the cafe. It offering an exciting range of fresh salads, sandwiches, numerous daily main course specials as well as refreshing teas and coffees. Simple but tasty fare will leave you feeling replenished.
Originally housing the servant’s quarters, the kitchens and various stores for the house the basement of King House now serves as Boyle Town Library. Flagstone floors and the distinctive barrel vaulted ceiling are in evidence here also.
The Library serves as an important cultural, educational as well as recreational and community space for the people of the area. The Library provides adult and junior stock resources , journals & periodicals , public internet facilities, online resources, reference and study facilities, meeting room, display area and boasts a comprehensive reference section as well as numerous important local studies material including the Annals of Boyle, the Annals of Lough Key, histories of the King family and the Connaught Rangers.
The Library is an integral part of the cultural, arts and heritage services provisions in the County and delivers a range of events and activities each year as part of the Library Services Calendar of Events. It also participates in a range of national programmes and exhibitions and supports events, festivals and literary events hosted and associated with King House.
Additional information including opening hours can be found at:
Tel: 071 966 2800
Throughout the year, King House plays host to a number of fairs, including a Christmas Craft fair. Keep an eye out in the local press for further information in relation to these events.
The Harrington Studios
The Harrington Studios
Located in our courtyard, the Harrington Studios are purpose-built artist’s studios which aim to support local, contemporary and multi-disciplinary arts practices. The mission of the studios is to encourage curiosity for the surrounding region and environment while fostering relationships between residents and the wider artistic community, bringing critically engaging contemporary practices to the broader public. The artist’s studios are free to visit and allow visitors to experience the artist at work and engage with both the artist and their output.
The artist currently in residence are Naomi Draper.
Gavin Porter is a Belfast born artist based in Co Sligo. His art practice consists of painting, drawing, sound and installation,assemblage and predominantly, printmaking. By applying simple linear, often repetitive and reductive drawing techniques in an indeterminate way, my current work endeavours to reveal patterns and form amongst the seemingly unpredictable and chaotic, patterns which are discernable in the natural world around us, but also in the events and routines that govern our lives. . Each work on paper is executed with intricate detail and employs optical techniques referenced from historical engraving. The resulting images are poised between the sublime and the absurd, incorporating elements of the real and the imagined, mimesis and abstraction
Central to these observations lies a fascination with science and the mechanics of nature, , entropy, erosion and evolution.
‘’ Forms depicted by Gavin Porter have a clear recurrent structure, but they seem to have no start and no end. They are in a continuous but unpredictable process of development, as if they were never to complete their forming. We can observe the same process in our everyday lives, filled with repetitive tasks performed as part of our daily routines and with efforts of which results can rarely be clearly predicted, our existence is built of patterns but is still full of uncertainty.”
Marta Slawinska, Curator In Isolation at Broadstone Studios, Dublin
Naomi Draper graduated from NCAD with a Bachelor of Design specialising in glass in 2007. Following an Erasmus programme at the Academy of Art, Architecture and Design, Prague, she received a scholarship to attend the Pilchuck Glass School, Seattle. In 2011, she completed a Postgraduate Diploma Community Arts Education at NCAD. From her studio base at The Dock Arts Centre, Carrick on Shannon, Naomi has participated on a number of residency programmes within a community and educational context. She is currently Artist in Residence at two public crèches commissioned by Fingal County Council Arts Office, and the Artist In Schools Programme with Leitrim County Council. Forthcoming exhibitions include the Practice National Tour, held at The Axis Arts Centre, Dublin, Skibereen Arts Centre, Cork and The Model, Sligo (2014).
Naomi Draper’s multi-disciplinary practice explores the fragility of our built and natural environment, investigating what defines space and how it is lived and activated by humans and non-humans. Combining a range of mediums and processes particularly through drawing and glass, Draper examines the structures and boundaries, limitations and new potentials of public and private environments.
Taking passengers from Lough Key-King House-the Crescent in Boyle three times daily (Mon.-Sat.) for the months of July and August. Present your ticket at Lough Key Forest Park and here at King House to avail of reduced rates.