In 1992 Michael and Geraldine Rosney purchased the Killeen House Hotel. Having had extensive experience in the hospitality industry, they had no doubts about the attractions the property had to offer. 'A charming little hotel' best describes the style and character of this unique little gem set in 1.5 acres of beautifully manicured gardens and a 10-minute drive from downtown Killarney.
The Killeen House Hotel was built in 1838 as the rectory of Archdeacon Nathaniel P. Forester who presided over the Church of Ireland community in Aghadoe. Aghadoe Church of Ireland, which is just across the road, was built in 1837 and remained in use until the 1980s. The church was built in Gothic Revival style which was very much in fashion in the mid 1800s.
At the time Killeen House Hotel was known as “Aghadoe Cottage”. It was built in Edwardian style and, while there has been renovations and extensions to the interior, the exterior remains unchanged. Except that the lovely red trim we see today was originally a pale blue.
Before finding its true role in life as a charming little hotel, the Killeen House saw service as a farmhouse, a home for the elderly and also a dower house, which is a moderately large house available for use by the widow of the previous owner of a large estate. The widow who occupied Killeen House was Lady Mary Cordelia Godfrey and she was in residence at Killeen House from 1905 to 1913. She was a remarkable woman who encountered many tragedies in her life but she was very clever with managing money, and as a result her family lived a comfortable life in Kerry until the death of her grandson in 1972. Lady Mary Cordelia shared Killeen House with her daughter, Helen Gertrude… and now over a hundred years later there is another Mother Daughter duo in residence!
Aghadoe Cottage, circa 1910
Lady Mary Cordelia Godfrey at her writing desk in Aghadoe Cottage
Lady Helen Gertrude