Delphi Lodge is one of Ireland’s most famous sporting lodges. Built in the 1830s for the Marquis of Sligo, the house is set in an unspoilt valley of spectacular natural beauty on the northern edge of Connemara. The 1,000-acre estate offers some of the best private fly-fishing for salmon in Ireland. A paradise for nature lovers and those in search of a tranquil and civilized hideaway (‘An inviolable wilderness preserve’, says The New York Times), Delphi is renowned for its good food, its great wine cellar and its wonderfully warm atmosphere.
Delphi Lodge, on the borders of County Galway and County Mayo, is one of the most famous houses in Ireland for country sports, especially for fishing and shooting. It was first built in the early 19th century by the Marquis of Sligo. Fresh from a grand (and possibly alcoholic) tour of Greece with his friend Lord Byron, he decided to build a sporting playground in a remote corner of his vast estates and, struck by the valley's alleged resemblance to the home of the famous oracle, he named it Delphi.
At first Delphi Lodge was the exclusive preserve of the Sligo family, let only on occasions to visiting sportsmen who vied with one another for its superb flyfishing. From the 1950s the legendary Trinity College academic Alec Wallace took a long-term lease on Delphi and ran both lodge and fishery in a famously idiosyncratic style. Delphi began to acquire an international reputation, both for its fishing and its houseparties.
But Wallace died in 1972 and control passed back again to the Sligo family, who had no great interest in that part of their estate. Delphi was largely abandoned until it was rediscovered in 1985 by Peter Mantle and his wife Jane. They bought the freehold and fishing rights on the whole estate and, having refurbished Delphi Lodge and some of the estate cottages, started taking guests in 1988.Peter & Jane retired from Delphi in 2011 to pursue other interests and following recent further renovations the lodge is now managed by Michael Wade.
While a number of today's guests are fishermen, the majority come for the peace, the magnificent scenery, the delicious food (served at one huge table) and the superb wine list.
Described by the Financial Times as 'an estate of fabulous beauty', Delphi is the ultimate West of Ireland hideaway. Delphi Lodge is a delightful 1830s house, full of atmosphere, hidden away in a deep valley of unparalleled beauty just north of Killary Harbour.
Under Peter's expert guidance the Delphi Fishery has become one of Ireland's premier, privately-owned fisheries where flyfishing for Atlantic salmon takes place from February through to the end of September on the pretty Bundorragha River and a variety of beautiful lakes. Because availability is limited and the fishing is highly sought after, advance reservation is recommended. Flyfishing tuition is also available, with a number of residential courses held each season.
Guests may play golf at Westport, ride on Cleggan Beach or walk in the mountains or along the beautiful coastline. Other activities are available on request.The House has a billiards room and an eclectic library, and is ideal for houseparties and small weddings. There are also five charming rental cottages on the 1,000-acre estate.