Irish Gap Year Student Housing
Students on Irish Gap Year programs are warmly welcomed to Bundrowes House, a 19th Century sea-side estate with panoramic views of Donegal Bay and the surrounding country-side. Bundrowes is set on 10 acres of pristine coastal land and is located on its own small island on the banks of the Drowes River, which borders counties Donegal and Leitrim. Here, students have ample space explore, socialise and reflect in private. The Drowes River is Ireland's foremost salmon river, and often boasts the first salmon catch of the year in the early spring.
Bundrowes contains everything you would hope to find in an Irish country house including high lofted ceilings, wood burning stoves, large bay windows and horses in the adjacent fields.
Bundrowes is a home away from home and our students have plenty of room to relax in front of the wood burning stove, whip something up in the kitchen or chill out in their bedrooms.
History of Bundrowes House
Bundrowes House was built in the 1890's by an Englishman whose wife was in poor health. In those days, it was believed that many ailments were healed by sea-side living and the man built the house as both a fishing lodge and a place of solace for his wife. Her condition improved and they lived many happy years together in the house. After the old couple passed away in 1942 the O'Kelly family (Killian's Great Grandfather) purchased the house and it has remained in the family ever since.
In the front garden of the house lay the remains of Bundrowes Castle, which is believed to have been built in the year 1420. The castle was built on the ford of the Drowes River and was a strategic entrance to the ancient province of Ulster. The O'Connor Clan of Connacht, the O'Donnell Clan of Donegal and the O'Connor Clan of Leitrim fought many battles here in ancient times due to the strategic location.
Local legend goes that the ensuing battles resulted in the construction of a man-made channel to divert the River Drowes, this diversion can still be seen to this day. The island is reached by a small bridge, which in ancient times was a turret-type of fortified castle.
Eventually the O'Donnell Clan, for whom Donegal is named, retreated to the nearby town of Ballyshannon where they built a new castle. From there, the O'Donnells could oversee the mouth of the Erne River and protect the entrance to the ancient Kingdom of Tirconaill.