Kylemore Castle was built as a honeymoon gift for the wife of Mitchell Henry, a wealthy politician from Manchester, England who was also an MP for Galway County from 1871 to 1885. The castle was designed by James Franklin Fuller and Ussher Roberts. Construction first began in 1867, and took one hundred men four years to complete. Unfortunately, Henry's wife passed away before the castle was completed. Henry sold the castle to the Duke and Duchess of Manchester in 1903, who lived there several years. In 1920 the Irish Benedictine Abbeys purchased the castle and lands. Previously the nuns, who had been based in Ypres for several hundred years, had been forced to leave during World War I. The nuns opened an international boarding school and established a day school for local girls, which closed in June 2010. Since the 70s, the Benedictine community have opened their Abbey and Estate to the public.