Built by Charles Fourier Stollmeyer, Killarney was the first house to be constructed in the St Clair subdivision, established on lands which had previously been used as the government stock farm. Construction started in 1902 and was completed in 1904. The architect of this elaborate structure was a Scotsman, Robert Gillies, from the firm Taylor and Gillies. Described to be Scottish Baronial in architectural style, it is said that the structure of the house was patterned after a wing of Balmoral Castle in Scotland. The structure is built of Laventille quarry stone with accents of brick and decorative cast iron pillars from Scotland. The interior of the downstairs floor with its beautiful stained glass accent window, the wooden floors, the wrap around balcony and the hand-crafted staircase is warm and inviting as contrasted to its more austere exterior. The kitchen though external, was connected to the house by an open corridor. The stables and workers quarters were also constructed at the same time.
When construction was completed, Mrs. Stollmeyer found it too ostentatious for her simple tastes and her husband gave it to their son, Conrad, who was about to marry. The new Mrs. Stollmeyer gave the structure the name Killarney, after the place in Ireland she had hoped to spend her honeymoon.
During the Second World War, Killarney, likes its neighbour Whitehall, was occupied by US Forces and was popularly referred to as “The Castle”. It is from this period that Killarney became better known as Stollmeyer’s Castle. Mr. and Mrs. Conrad Stollmeyer returned to the house after the War, until their deaths in 1965 and 1969 respectively. Inherited by their grandson, Dr John Stollmeyer, it was occupied until 1972 by his sister, Mrs. Clara Merry. That year Killarney was purchased by Jessy Henry A Mahabir, an insurance executive who also wished for the building to be used as his residence.
Killarney was acquired in 1979 from Mr. Mahabir by the government of Trinidad and Tobago. Restoration work was first carried out by Citizens for Conservation who occupied the building in the late 1990s. The Office of the Prime Minister then utilized the building as a formal security access to the Prime Minister’s Office, before it was restored and refurbished as a Hospitality House. However, that never came to pass and after an additional refurbishment, in which the Mews were repurposed as offices and a conference room, the building was handed over to the Board of NAPA under what is now the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and the Arts. It is rented for a variety of functions organized by both private and government organizations.
Other name: Killarney
Address: Lot 31 Maraval Road, St. Clair, Port of Spain
Region: Port of Spain
Site Type: Cultural Heritage
Public Accessibility: Limited Access
Grade: Grade 1 – property in which there should be no change, nor alteration to its shape or form, nor in or upon any material object, plant or other thing that may deform or deface the property
Cultural Community: British, German
Site Features: Residences & Great Houses
(868) 227 5240
(868) 798 5574
Facebook: Castle Killarney TT
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Killarney Stollmyer's Castle 5 Lawrence Waldron 0715
Lot 31 Maraval Road, St. Clair, Port of Spain