We spent some time in County Mayo and County Galway, all at the same time. We stayed at Ashford Castle which is in County Galway (though its mailing address is County Mayo). It is right next door to Cong, which is what became the townland of Inisfree for the moving The Quiet Man. I have to be honest and say I just watched this about a year ago for the first time. Not sure how I missed it when I was growing up. We watched a ton of John Wayne with my Dad when we were kids.
When I started planning my trip, I knew I wanted to stay in a castle. But I had no clue where. I did a bit of googling and found the Ashford Castle. I knew that had to be the one we stayed at. Not only was the area beautiful, but The Quiet Man was filmed nearby (you can see the castle in the background of the movie in some scenes).
Our first glimpse of anything from the movie was a home on what seems to be the grounds of the castle. We were taking advantage of their estate activities with Irelands School of Falconry, Hawk Walk (which by the way is way awesome). The home had a flag flying that said Quiet Man. I asked our guide what that was all about. He told me it was Squire Danahers house from the movie. It looked a bit different from the movie. But the house is privately owned, so it would make sense that there was updates on the home.
After our Hawk Walk our guide told us that the walk into Cong was very short and we should go into town and see the sights. I am so glad we did. Though, I giggled at one point because I feel like I am stalking John Wayne (see Visiting the Big Island for more information).
Once in Cong we quickly found what they call the Church they were married in, Dying Man’s House, and Cohan’s Pub. The one thing I wanted to see was the cottage. I have read many articles on how they have been trying to save it and that it was pretty much in ruins. The only cottage I got to see is a replica. The actual cottage is in the townland of Maam which is about a 30 minute drive from there. Unfortunately, I never got there.
Though seeing some of the sites from the movie was pretty cool. I really liked seeing the statue of John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara. Maureen had just recently passed away and people were stopping to leave flowers for her.