Jeremy Ulick Browne Altamont, 11th Marquess of Sligo, was born in London on June 4, 1939. He was educated at Ludgrove Prep School in the UK and at St Columba's College in Dublin.His father inherited Westport House in 1951 and as a teenager, Lord Altamont spent summers in Co Mayo hunting with Burns the gamekeeper, learning about the countryside and listening to his stock of sometimes bawdy stories.He later went to Cirencester Agricultural College in the UK but, as he put it himself, didn't stay "long enough to be thrown out".In any case, he felt drawn to Westport to help his parents, Lord Denis and Lady Jose Altamont, salvage and develop Westport House.The obstacles were immense, but as Altamont wrote in his just-published memoir A Life At Westport House: 50 Years A-Going: "My family had been through famines and wars, had been born in Westport, lived and died in Westport and at no point had any generation ever 'given up'."What followed in the years to come was proof that he wasn't going to give up either. After all, he was the 13th great-grandson of Pirate Queen Grace O'Malley, the fearless seafarer who brokered a deal in Latin with Queen Elizabeth in the 16th century. Faced with debts and crippling insurance costs, Lord Altamont and his wife Lady Jennifer decided the only way to preserve their stately home was to open it to the public.
Author: Jeremy Ulick Browne Altamont, 11th Marquess of Sligo
A Life at Westport House - 50 Years a Going
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