Located just 15 minutes by car from the hotel in County Laois, Emo Court is the perfect place to visit while you are visiting our hotel in Portlaoise.
History of Emo Court and Gardens
Emo Court is a stunning estate rich in history and stunning beauty. The parklands are open 365 days a year. Enjoy a walk along the mile long Wellingtonia Avenue which is flanked by Sequoia trees that were planted in 1853 or take a walk around the beautiful lake. Emo Court was once the largest estate in Ireland, commissioned and built in 1790 for the 1st Earl of Portarlington, John Dawson, and designed by architect James Gandon. In the past, Emo Court was also home to the distinguished photographer Fr Frank Browne and author Benedict Kiely. More recently the house was owned by Major Cholmeley Dering Cholmeley-Harrison who visited Ireland and fell in love with the estate. He dedicated his life to restoring the estate to its former glory.
In 1994 Mary Robinson who was president of Ireland at that time officially received Emo Court and Parklands from Major Cholmeley-Harrison on behalf of the country. The estate is now in the care of the Office of Public Works for over a quarter of a century.
Discover Emo Court & Gardens
The gardens extend to 35 hectares of landscaped grounds with Oak, Beech, rare specimen trees, and a 20-acre lake.
In 2013, restoration works were completed around the lake allowing visitors the chance to enjoy the 2.5km lake walk. The lake walk is a popular choice for families visiting the area. Access to the house is by guided tours only.
Opening Times at Emo Court and Gardens
Emo Court Parklands are open from 8.30 am to the last entrance at 4.30 pm. Tea/Coffee & light snacks are available from CaToCa’s takeaway unit located outside the tearooms. Guests in the hotel can enjoy 10% off food in the café by showing their room key card. Enjoy your visit and walk with nature.