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
There can be few better places to visit on an early June weekend than the gardens at the Butler House in the Centre of KIlkenny city, the Roses are in Bloom and the pond in the middle of the garden offers a cool and relaxing place to visit.
I just love taking in a book or just walking around and taking time to view all the flowers and hidden wooded areas.
The history of Butler house is described below and flowed by some of the many images I have taken here.
The History of Butler House
Butler House is the Dower House of Kilkenny Castle and has always been associated with the Butler Family, Dukes & Earls of Ormonde who resided at Kilkenny Castle for 500 years.
The house was home to Lady Eleanor Butler who lived here after the death of her husband Walter in 1783. Lady Eleanor Butler was the mother of John, the 17th Earl of Ormonde and her daughter, also Eleanor, was one of the famous “ladies of Langollen”.
James, Earl of Ormonde resided in the house while the Castle was under reconstruction in 1831.
A soup kitchen was run from here during the cholera epidemic of 1832.
The Royal historical and Archaeological Association of Ireland held their meetings in Butler House in 1870.
Kilkenny Design, the state design agency, restored Butler House in 1972.
The decor and furnishings reflect a certain 1970s Art Deco style, which because of the muted colours and natural fabrics used, proved sympathetic to the original features of the house. In 1989, the Kilkenny Civic Trust acquired both Butler House and the Castle Stables. The house was then opened to the public as a guesthouse and conference centre.
In 2000, The Kilkenny Civic Trust had the gardens at Butler House landscaped, in order to return them to their original splendour. The gardens have since become an attraction for the many visitors to Kilkenny.
Butler house Gallery
When I first came to live in Ireland, one thing I really noticed what the different architecture around the country.
While many homes in both Ireland and main land Europe can and do look the same, I started wondering what the classical Irish house looked like, Well this house sitting on the borders of county Tipperary and Kilkenny to myself is it.
Rectangular with it’s five windows at the front and an arched red front door, this house is so classically Irish in nature that I would now see it as the classic 1900’s Irish home.
These houses could both be a Farm house with the Farm yard at the back or a town house sitting with a garden at the back and the street at the front.
Classical 1900’s Irish home