Towns of Laois
Emo —County Laois
The late 18th century village of Emo originally sprang up around the gates of Emo Court. The recently renovated New Inn dates from the village's foundation, as does the Gothic Catholic Church, which contains the tomb of Lady Portarlington with its recumbent effigy by Boehm. The nearby Gothic church of St. John's in Coolbanagher is also worth a visit. Emo Court was designed in 1790 by architect James Gandon for the first Earl of Portarlington and is a magnificent example of the neo-classical style. The house is surrounded by beautiful gardens and parklands that date from the 18th century and contain formal lawns, a lake and woodland walks, with many fine specimens of trees and shrubs. The Wellingtonia Avenue (Sequoiadendron giganteum) is a renowned feature of this impressive site. Access to the house is by guided tour only and tours of the gardens can be arranged by prior booking. Open mid June to mid September.