Portlaoise Map and Tourist Information
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STRADBALLY & STEAM MUSEUM - Stradbally is a picturesque village and is home to the Steam Museum. Tells the story of the steam engines that pulled trains, built roads and drove factory machinery in Ireland until the 1920s. Restricted Opening. Call ahead for opening times. Tel: (057) 8625154. On Bank Holiday Sundays and Mondays from Easter to October, the Steam Museum also offers rides on a narrow gauge Heritage Railway that takes passengers through the grounds of the picturesque Stradbally Hall Estate.
PORTARLINGTON - Founded in 1666 by Sir Henry Bennett, Lord Arlington, the town features exceptional Huguenot, Georgian and Victorian buildings. Portarlington became known for its 16 Classical schools, and also became a financial centre, and the skill of its silversmiths was renowned throughout Ireland.
EMO COURT - Tel: 057 86 26573 www.heritageireland.ie - One of the finest stately homes in these islands, Emo Court was designed by James Gandon in 1790 for the Earls of Portarlington. It is a magnificent example of neo-classical style. Guided Tours of the House are available during the Summer period. Gardens are open all year round. The Tea Rooms at Emo are well worth a visit.
HEYWOOD GARDENS - Ballinakill - Contains two types of garden. The first is an elegant 18th century park with fine trees and lakes. The second is a series of small, interlinked gardens designed by Sir Edward Lutyens and Gertrude Jekyll in the early 20th century. Admission free.
ROCK OF DUNAMAISE - One of the great monuments and fortresses of Ireland towers over the Portlaoise/Stradbally road, offering breathtaking views of the county. Inspired by this great vantage point, people built fortresses here as early as 140 A.D.
ROUND TOWER - Timahoe - A beautifully carved doorway makes this one of the most interesting round towers in Ireland. If you look carefully, you can make our carved heads, with long moustaches and twining hair, on the sides of the doorway. This tower was probably built in the 1100s on the site of an earlier monastery.
DONAGHMORE FAMINE MUSEUM - Tel: 0505 46315
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.donaghmoremuseum.com
The Workhouse Museum, a unique attraction in Ireland, aims to tell the story of the families who lived and died here before, during and after the Great Famine. Visitors can walk through the virtually unchanged rooms of a 19th Century workhouse.
ABBEYLEIX & ABBEYLEIX HERITAGE HOUSE -
Tel: 057 87 31653
Email: email@example.com - In the late 1700s, the Viscounts de Vesci moved the planned estate town of Abbeyleix. Today Abbeyleix is one of Ireland's prettiest towns, featuring interesting architecture, mature plantings and five carefully restored fountains. Visit the Abbeyleix Heritage House Interpretative Centre and the picturesque Sexton's Cottage.
DURROW - The planned estate village of Durrow developed under the patronage of the Viscounts of Ashbrook, who also built Castle Durrow, one of the last large pre-Palladan houses in Ireland. The town features fine Georgian and Victorian buildings. The Leafy Loop - a 14 mile series of way marked walking routes around the town.
IRISH FLY FISHING & GAME SHOOTING MUSEUM - Tel: 057 87 36112 - The only museum of its kind in Europe, the Irish Fly Fishing and Game Shooting Museum explores 300 years of fishing and hunting in Ireland.
AGAHOBE ABBEY - Founded in the 6th Century, Aghaboe Abbey is the site of four different phases of Christian life in Ireland. Today the ruins of a Dominican friary survive. A plaque at the monastic ruins tells of
the turbulent and bloody history of the site. Admission free.
MOUNTMELLICK - In 1659, a small group of Quakers settled in Mountmellick. Over the next century, they were instrumental in transforming Mountmellick into 'the Manchester of Ireland'. Today Mountmellick's fine buildings and historical sites are identified on its Heritage Trail, which is signposted through the town. The Mountmellick Museum is well worth a visit which displays the original pieces of Mountmellick Embroidery and protects the memory of Mountmellick’s rich Quaker past’. Tel: 057 86 24525
POET’S COTTAGE - Camross - This replica of a traditional thatched cottage allows visitors to experience what life was like for most rural people in the 1800s.