Emo Court is one of Ireland treasures and it is a location I have visited more than once over the years. Its a great place to visit on a weekend with its great walks through the wooded grounds along with a tour into the house and finally a visit to the cafe afterwards for a cake and a cup of tea ….
Emo Court House is a neo-classical mansion in County Laois that attracts visitors from all over the country and beyond. Designed by noted architect James Gandon, it features magnificent gardens and is located just 2.5 km from Emo village and 7 km from Portarlington Railway Station.
Designed in 1790 for the Earls of Portarlington, Emo Court House is a magnificent example of the neo-classical style. After some periods of lying empty, it was acquired by the Jesuits in the middle of the 20th century. Functional renovations were made to the estate before it was sold to Major Cholmeley Harrison, a former London stockbroker, in the 1960s.
Cholmeley Harrison’s vision was to restore Emo Court House to its former glory and today the results of his efforts are obvious. Leading London architect Sir Albert Richardson was commissioned to take on the restoration of the house which remained a private residence, though the public were encouraged to enjoy the gardens for a small entrance fee.
In 1994 Cholmeley Harrison presented Emo Court House to the people of Ireland, continuing to live there in private apartments until his death in 2008. Staff of the Office of Public Works (OPW) now care for the estate and preserve its stately elegance for modern visitors.
Visit Emo Court House to enjoy the beautiful gardens and parklands which were first laid out in the 18th century, containing formal lawns and a lake. Walks through the woodland are a popular way to explore the beautiful grounds.
The Cupcake Café at Emo Court House offers lunch and is open every day from 1 February to 31 October. From 1 November to 31 January it’s open on Saturdays and Sundays. Groups are welcomed at Emo Court House, but booking is required.
Emo Court A Gallery
The village of Cullahill, county Laois is located just over the boarder from county Kilkenny. It is home to some great old castle tower home and village chapel remains. Cullahill Castle was the principal stronghold of the MacGillapatricks of Upper Ossory built around 1425 and destroyed around 1650.
There are many places like this in the Irish republic, that have retained the remains of long lost times, this small village located on the R369 just north of Johnstown county kilkenny, is a perfect example of the way most small Irish villages would have been in the 1400’s. this small place is well worth a visit just to get a sense of old Ireland.
The Old Castle and church at Galesquarter, Co. Laois was home to the Lords of Upper Ossary the Gaelic Fitzpatrick family (Irish: Mac Gìolla Phádraig) .
The two buildings has stood empty since the 1700’s and today are very much in ruins yet go to make a wonderful site in the Local Landscape.
The Gallery below was taken last weekend on a walk through Galesquarter ending in the Bunlacken hills above.
Galesquarter Church and Castle, Co. Laois : Gallery
The Bog of Allen
The Bog of Allen is one of my favourite places to visit in Ireland for Walking and Landscape Photography. It covers some 958 square kilometers (370 square miles) stretching into County Offaly, County Meath, County Kildare, County Laois, and County Westmeath.
Although it main function is for Peat production, which is mechanically harvested on a large scale by Bórd na Móna, the government-owned peat production industry.
The bog of Allen is one of the most tranquil areas in the country and of great inter national importance.
This link shows how a raised bog is formed : raised bog formation
The Images below were taken on a recent visit and I feel that they show just how amazing this location is, from the large open sky’s and landscape to the amazing colours produced by Sphagnum moss and its flowers.