Video of Abbeyleix Town, County Laois, Republic of Ireland
Abbeyleix was founded in the 18th century as a town by Viscount de Vesci and is situated
near a 12th century Cistercianmonastery beside the River Nore. Today, there is a
large range of historical structures still standing in and around the small village
- ancient ring forts, burial grounds, early monastic buildings, Norman and mediaeval castles,
churches and colonial estate houses. The town once had a carpet factory, established
in 1904 by Yvo de Vesci, the 5th Viscount – notably producing some of the carpets
used on the RMS Olympic and RMS Titanic.
There is a heritage house located in the old Patrician monastery schoolhouse which
provides information on the towns history. Abbeyleix was made a Heritage town of
Ireland several years ago.
Buildings of note
Abbeyleix Market House is a 5 bay, 2 story building which was until 2005 used as
a Fire Station and Library. It has been renovated as a state of the art library/exhibition
The de Vesci estate on the Ballacolla road with its beautiful gardens is open to
the public one day a year. All proceeds from this opening are given to a local charity.
Also of note are the Heritage Centre & the Sensory Gardens on Main Street.
The Abbeyleix South National School is a beautiful 19th century building.
Morrissey's public house on Main Street is a must for any visitor to the town.
Preston House on Main Street is an old school house.
Sextons House is a beautifully renovated cottage.
Abbeyleix Further Education Centre, located on the Mountrath Road, is housed in
a former Technical School and is a good example of the school architecture of the
Bramleys on Main Street is the location of the old carpet factory. It is now a
department store and coffee shop
Abbeyleix; Irish: Mainistir Laoise, meaning "Laois Abbey") is a town in County Laois,
Ireland about 14 km (9 mi) from Portlaoise and located on the N77 national secondary
route. Formerly the N8 National Primary Route ran through the centre of the town,
making Abbeyleix an infamous bottleneck on the Dublin-Cork corridor with up to 15,000
vehicles passing through the main street everyday. However, the town was bypassed
by the M8 motorway on 28 May, 2010.