County Laois: Gandon and Lutyens

A number of internationally renowned architects have worked in County Laois. James Gandon (1743-1823) designed both Emo Court, commissioned 1790 but not completed until 1870, and the neo-classical St. John's Church in Coolbanager, completed 1786. Heywood Gardens, completed in 1912, were designed by the architect, Sir Edward Lutyens (1869-1944) and garden designer Gertrude Jekyll, to complement the existing Georgian landscape garden. Lutyens created a sunken garden with an ornamental pool and fountain within circles of elliptical flowerbeds and terraces. Both Emo Court and Heywood Gardens are open to the public.

Emo Court, Emo Court Demesne, EMO PARK, County Laois

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Detached nine-bay two- and three-storey over basement Neo-Classical house, begun 1790, comprising two-storey central block with prostyle tetrastyle pedimented portico and three-storey advanced end bays. Designed by James Gandon. Built as seat of the Earls of Portarlington. Renovated, c.1835, with garden front and interior completed. Designed by Lewis Vulliamy. Renovated, c.1860, with rotunda completed. Designed…


Saint John's Church of Ireland Church, MORETT, Coolbanagher, County Laois

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Detached neo-Classical Church of Ireland church, completed 1786. Designed by James Gandon. Renovated and remodelled, c.1870, with apsidal chancel added and ceiling removed. Designed by Thomas Drew. Double-pitched slate roof with squared rubble octagonal spire with ball finial. Nap rendered walls with projecting bands. Snecked dressed rubble to chancel with limestone ashlar banding. Lunette window…


Heywood Gardens, Heywood Demesne, HAYWOOD DEMESNE, County Laois

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Arts-and-Crafts style ornamental garden, completed 1912, comprising stone walled garden on a circular plan with summerhouse and fountain. Designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens and planted by Gertrude Jekyll. Hipped and Mansard clay tile roof to pavilion. Rubble sandstone; Coade stone dressings and coping. Summerhouse comprises ashlar panels with square- and round-headed openings with limestone ashlar…