The gardens and parklands of Emo Court House were first laid out in the 18th century and are a glorious example of Irish formal gardens at their best. The estate features over 35 hectares of naturalistic landscaped grounds, with formal areas, woodland walks, statues and a 20-acre lake, making it the perfect spot for a family picnic.
The landscape contains formal lawns, a lake and woodland walks with beautiful trees and shrubs. The extensive grounds, decorated with Greek sculptures, contain over 1000 different trees, including huge sequoias, the world’s largest single tree species and shrubs from across the globe.
Visit Emo Court House and Gardens to see the two main areas of the gardens: The Clucker contains rare specimen trees and glades of azaleas, rhododendrons and camellias, while The Grapery is an arboretum with a series of pathways, each opening to vistas of the Slieve Bloom Mountains and Emo Court House itself.
Located in County Laois, Emo Court House was designed by the architect James Gandon in 1790 for the Earls of Portarlington. A neo-classical mansion in County Laois, it’s located just 2.5 km from Emo village and 7 km from Portarlington Railway Station.
Emo Court House 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. Today the popular house and gardens have been restored to their former glory and attract visitors from across Ireland and beyond.
Access to house by guided tour only. Guided tours available hourly.
Maximum number: 25.
Duration: 40 - 45 minutes
Tours of garden available by prior booking.
The gardens are open all year. The House opens daily from the end of March to late September and weekends only in October. The house is closed from November to end of March. Check the Heritage Ireland website for details.
Savour fine food in the CaToCa Tea Rooms which are in what was once the original Dower House of the Estate.