Architecture is the design of buildings and other structures. In the broadest sense, this includes the whole of our built environment, from urban design, landscape architecture and building design down to architectural features such as doorways and street furniture.
The architectural heritage of County Laois includes:
- Vernacular and farm buildings
- Large country houses such as Ballyfin House, Stradbally Hall and Emo Court
- Other houses, doorways and streetscapes
- Public buildings such as churches, courthouses and railway stations
- Industrial heritage, including canals, mills and bridges
- Street furniture, including letter boxes, milestones and pumps
- Designed landscapes including Heywood gardens and many of the demesne landscapes including Abbey Leix and Ballyfin
Thatched house in traditional farmyard, the Heath, Laois (Photo James Fraher)
Boundary stone on the Kildare – Laois boundary (Photo NIAH)
Many elements of the architectural heritage of Laois are included in the Record of Protected Structures detailed in the Laois County Development Plan.
Several buildings of architectural and historic importance are owned by Laois County Council. Programmes to conserve and revitalise many of these buildings, including Stradbally Courthouse, Durrow Courthouse, and Donaghmore Workhouse, have been completed or are underway. Sites such as Emo Court, Heywood Gardens, the Rock of Dunamase and Timahoe Round Tower are owned by the State and managed by the Office of Public Works.
Gardens and Planned Landscapes
The “Laois Garden Trail” booklet is available to download below.
Historic Environment Viewer
The Historic Environment Viewer is map-based GIS Service service provided by the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage. It has been developed to help people to access data on archaeology (National Monuments Service) and architecture (National Inventory of Architectural Heritage), using a “one-stop shop” website to access built heritage data resources.