WHERE ARE WE AT?
After at least 500 years of private history, Killyon Manor has been public for just five years - for alternative retreats and festivals, parties and weddings with a difference – a sweet coming-together of people in this magical part of Meath. Around us, on the land, we’ve let Nature take the lead more and more, and these sixty acres today are fizzing with native wildlife – birds, bumblebees, butterflies, buttercups and beyond...
These next five years, we want to bring you all closer: Nature helping people, People helping Nature. Less wild parties, more communing with the wild. We’re not sure what this will look like yet, but join us on the journey, because we’d never have got to where we are without you.
Increasingly, we've found the land is best left to its own devices here, and with Nature firmly in charge, the Killyon Manor estate is wilding itself and being shaped by these natural processes into a sanctuary for our violently threatened native flora and fauna.
While others around us use the wonderfully fertile Meath land for raising sheep and cattle, growing crops and vegetables, we cultivate Nature, becoming a refuge for the pollinators, wild plants and animal life that have a huge part to play in sustaining and both human, agricultural and natural systems on our Earth.
There’s over a thousand years of tales that can be told of the area now defined by Killyon Manor. Pagans, Celts, colonisers, even Vikings have left their traces on this land. From jilted brides, mad priests and soldier ghosts, hidden treasure and secret tunnels, their history is buried in the earth, written in the trees, hidden in scattered ruins – and passed down still by word of mouth by people whose families have known this place for centuries.
The manor house, mostly built in Georgian times, is the most visible symbol of the past, with its quirky, beautiful architecture and spaces, and the people who now come within these walls represent the writing of a new era - a more open age, acted out in a Big House for the way we live now.
The Purcell family are relative newcomers to the Manor – a mere thirty years. When Roland, Zoe and the kids arrived to take the reins ten years ago, it took them quite a while to get their heads around it. Their comfort zone was the Tanzanian wilderness. More used to tents and elephants than granite and sheep, they looked outwards for support and inspiration, and found it in droves.
Now a much bigger family is at home here… naturalists, musicians, chefs, artists, yogis – a loosely formed community of idealists, oddballs and entertainers, united by a love of the land and recognition of what a special spot this is. These places are defined, ultimately, by their people, so if something here inspires you too, please join in through this website.
and what about our weddings?
Call it simply a change of scale – from major to minor. We’re saying goodbye to big weddings and parties (thank you, its been an absolute blast!), and opening out instead to elopements - the smallest, simple affairs of the heart. Leave social pressures behind and have a ceremony that's only for love. In the heart of the Island Wood, we have a secret ruined chapel, roofed by arching trees, with herons for the choir. Come just with your lover, and add a couple of friends or family...