Strokestown Park & the National Famine Museum is a unique heritage asset of international importance which has been cared for in private ownership over the last three decades.
In 2015, the Irish Heritage Trust took responsibility for the property with the help of private philanthropic support – individual Directors of the Westward Group – to create a sustainable operation for future generations and continue to bring benefits to the local community.
The house is a grand Palladian Mansion, designed by Richard Castle in the 1730s, with fine state rooms, an original galleried kitchen and vaulted stables. Over the coming years, through major funding programmes and partnerships, we aim to work to enhance the visitor experience at Strokestown and to sensitively conserve and restore Strokestown Park House and gardens.
We are already working on bringing the House and community together with many people joining our new volunteering programme. Successful events such as the Plant Fair and Family Fete are bringing new audiences to the house and gardens.
Strokestown is recognised as a place of international significance in terms of Famine, diaspora, Irish history, rural regeneration and community development. The rich collections at Strokestown also make it of real academic interest. The Irish Heritage Trust is privileged and excited to be part of Strokestown’s future.
The Irish Famine Summer School is an annual international conference allowing delegates to engage with some of the world’s leading interdisciplinary experts in the Irish Famine. By gathering some of the world’s leading historic Famine scholars, it benefits the local communities and brings the town of Strokestown to life. The Summer School is run in association with our academic partners Quinnipiac University, Connecticut, home of Ireland’s Great Hunger Institute and alternates each year between Quinnipiac and Strokestown Park.
The National Famine Walk is a digitally waymarked 155km walking trail that connects the National Famine Museum in Strokestown Park, Co. Roscommon, with Rowan Gillespie’s Famine memorial on Custom House Quay in Dublin along the banks of the Royal Canal. It allows walkers to follow in the footsteps of the 1,490 tenants who were forced to emigrate from Strokestown to Canada on some of the worst of the coffin ships during the summer of 1847. Their story and the route of the National Famine Way can be found at www.nationalfamineway.ie.
The Great Famine Voices Roadshow is a series of open house events in the United States and Canada that brings together Irish emigrants, their descendants, and members of their communities to share family memories and stories of coming from Ireland to North America, especially during the period of the Great Hunger and afterwards. Learn more here.