The Education Centre is based in Knockreer House, the last of the Kenmare mansions, which is situated on a hill close to the town of Killarney and has spectacular views over the National Park. Knockreer House which was until 1974 known as Kenmare House and was the home of the late Mrs Beatrice Grosvenor, a direct descendant of Sir Valentine Browne, the 1st Earl of Kenmare.
The Earls of Kenmare originally lived at Ross Castle but moved in 1721 to a new mansion on the southern edge of the town of Killarney. From there they moved in about 1875 to Knockreer to a vast red brick mansion built in Tudor style. This was burnt to the ground in 1913 and the present house built in 1956, stands on the site of this mansion. You can still see part of the terraces of the brick mansion, which form the framework for the beautiful gardens that surround the present house.
Knockreer House c.1880
The Education Centre
The Centre comprises of a number of teaching labs and lecture rooms. The ground floor has two large rooms which have displays of stuffed Irish animals and birds. They are used for lectures and talks or as the base room for groups while they are at the centre. There are a number of semi-perminant exhibitions in these rooms plus a selection of environmental posters and leaflets. The toilets with washrooms are also on the groundfloor, one of which is wheelchair accessible. For groups visiting the centre, usually lunches are eaten as a picnic outdoors in the woods or gardens, but if the weather is not suitable these can be eaten indoors.
These attributes with the fantastic location and close proximity to Killarney town make this the ideal facility to run our programmes.
Knockreer House winter 2010
Arthur Vincent House
Hostel accommodation is available in the heart of the National Park for groups visiting the area. This facility is solely for the use of groups visiting the Park to participate in activities provided by Killarney National Park Education Centre, or other educational purposes - please contact us for more details.
Arthur Vincent House is Killarney National Park's own self-catering hostel. It is situated on the beautiful Muckross Peninsula, approximately five minutes walk from Muckross House itself, and fifteen minutes walk from the main Kenmare Road at the Muckross Park Hotel. There is parking provided for residents who can drive right to the door of the hostel.
The hostel sleeps 24 people in total, broken into three dormitories of six, one dormitory of four, and a two bedded leader's room. The building is centrally heated throughout and the hostel kitchen comes fully equipped.