St Helen’s is a charming period split level home of real distinction and character, with many of the original features from the fireplaces to the french doors. St Helen’s was built in the 1840s by the uncle of Lady Gregory, Robert Persse, who was part of the Persse family, owners of one of the first whiskey distilleries in Galway, which was situated in Nuns Island. Persse landed families increasingly came to prominence in the 1800s to play leading roles in the commercial, social, sporting and political life of Galway city and county. The Persse distillery thrived again from the 1840s, and sons of Henry Stratford Persse became successful merchants and ship owners; Thomas Moore Persse became the first US Consul in Galway and was the chairman of Galway Town Commissioners.
Henry Stratford Presse built a house up on the hill overlooking Salthill and called it Glenarde House; today, it is known as the Ardilaun Hotel. He owned extensive lands around the house. The main entrance was from Taylor’s Hill but there was also a pillared entrance from Threadneedle Road directly across from where the gates of Salerno are today. With many of his family building houses such as St. Helen’s in and around the estate.
Number of Suites: 5
Number of Bathrooms: 7
Capacity: 2–10 guests