Emo Court is a quintessential neo-classical mansion, set in the midst of the ancient Slieve Bloom Mountains. The famous architect James Gandon, fresh from his work on the Custom House and the Four Courts in Dublin, set to work on Emo Court in 1790. However, the building that stands now was not completed until some 70 years later.
The estate was home to the earls of Portarlington until the War of Independence forced them to abandon Ireland for good. The Jesuits moved in some years later and, as the Novitiate of the Irish Province, the mansion played host to some 500 of the order’s trainees.
A Major Cholmeley-Harrison took over Emo Court in the 1960s and fully restored it. He opened the beautiful gardens and parkland to the public before finally presenting the entire estate to the people of Ireland in 1994.
Visitors to Emo Court can enjoy the lake and woodland walks or a meander through the gardens before relaxing in the charming tearooms
The house is currently being carefully and expertly restored by the OPW and will have new exhibits and displays to explore.
For more information, visit https://heritageireland.ie/places-to-visit/emo-court/